Valenzuela mayor not keen on removing curfew hours amid COVID-19 quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 4)— One local chief executive in Metro Manila said Sunday he is not keen on removing curfew hours, as he stressed the need for a gradual reopening of the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to CNN Philippines, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said he personally wants the curfew hours— currently set from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.— to stay, as threat of the coronavirus still remains.

Sa perspektibo ng Valenzuela… ‘pag tinanong ako, hindi ako sang-ayon na tanggalin ‘yung curfew na ‘yun kasi, again, we might be celebrating a bit too early,” Gatchalian said in an interview with Newsroom Weekend, but noted that he cannot speak for the rest of his colleagues.

[Translation: From Valenzuela’s perspective, if you ask me, I don’t agree with removing the curfew, because, again, we might be celebrating a bit too early.]

“We are for opening the economy, but we have to do it gradually, in phases. And part of the phase is to keep the curfew— kasi baka biglang bumulusok na naman ‘yung mga kaso pag binuksan natin nang biglaan (because the cases might rise again if we suddenly ease restrictions),” he added.

Parañaque City Mayor and Metro Manila Council chairman Edwin Olivarez earlier said local officials are set to discuss the issue of curfew in their next meeting, as the capital region— which remains under general community quarantine— aims to slowly open up the crisis-hit economy.

Curfew hours in Metro Manila are currently unified, but delivery services are permitted to operate 24/7.

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines have meanwhile surpassed the 319,000 mark, with 2,674 new infections reported on Saturday.