Amid reports of rising COVID-19 cases, Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso discussed the granular lockdowns and other precautionary measures being implemented in the city in an interview with Angelo Palmones on DZRH on Monday, March 15.

Manila is still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) but the local government now has to impose stricter rules for some areas. “GCQ kami ngayon pero buhay-ECQ,” Domagoso said, referring to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Domagoso had decided that effective today, only 30% of Manila City Hall shall report to work. He explained: “Nagawa na natin yan noong ECQ. Nakapag-function naman yung gobyerno ng lungsod at nakapag-serbisyo naman ‘yung tao.” Precautionary measures lang.”

However, there are some departments that are operating at full capacity. They are the Manila Health Department (MHD), the Manila Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO), the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), the Department of Public Services (DPS), the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW), and the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW).

When asked if the City of Manila would also be temporarily shutting down restaurants, Domagoso remarked that there have been no reported cases of the virus being spread in these establishments. “Wala namang reported na ganun so far, but we will look into it. We always listen to scientists and experts,” he said.

The mayor said that, perhaps, there should increased vigilance in the country’s ports of entry. “Isa siguro na pwede nating [gawan ng] assessment ay ‘yung mga pumapasok na bagong variants na s’ya namang aking pinagtataka. Baka naman napapabayaan ng Bureau of Quarantine sa ating mga ports of entry [via] air and sea. [Baka] ‘yung mga dumarating dito ay hindi nila masyadong nasisiyasat.”

In any case, the City of Manila is expected to continue imposing selective or granular lockdowns as long as there are spikes in COVID-19 infections. This week, six barangays are being placed on lockdown: Brgy. 185 Zone 16 (Tondo); Brgy. 374 Zone 38 (Sta. Cruz); Brgy. 521 Zone 52 (Sampaloc); Brgy. 628 Zone 63 (Sta. Mesa); Brgy. 675 Zone 73 (Paco); and Brgy. 847 Zone 92 (Pandacan). The lockdown will be in effect from 12:01 AM on Wednesday, March 17 to 11:59 PM on Saturday, March 20.

To help address the needs of the barangays on lockdown, Domagoso said that they would speed up the delivery of the COVID-19 Food Security Program (FSP) boxes. Domgoso urged barangay officials to help make sure that these boxes are distributed as soon as they are delivered. He also reminded them to be more vigilant about the activities of their residents, especially if some of them are returning to Manila from out-of-town vacations.

Domagoso said that he is counting on people to practice self-discipline to help the whole city get through the COVID-19 crisis. “Gusto ko makapaghanapbuhay kayo. Habang binabalanese natin ang buhay at hanapbuhay, kailangan natin maging mga responsableng indibidwal,” he stated.