San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said he was “surprised” by the result of the voting among Metro Manila mayors on whether to shift from the stricter General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to the more relaxed Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Mayor Francisco Zamora (Photo from Mayor Francisco Zamora Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Mayor Francisco Zamora (Photo from Mayor Francisco Zamora Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Zamora said it was the first time that the voting among the mayors was “very close.”

“We have votation like this. Oftentimes, when we vote on something, it’s either unanimous or if there would be objection, maybe just one or two. I was very surprised with what I saw,” Zamora said.

Metro Manila mayors, who comprise the Metro Manila Council (MMC), voted 9-8 in favor of the country’s shift to MGCQ, the least restrictive quarantine level.

Zamora said the economic cluster’s explanation of the country’s current status during their meeting on Feb. 17 may have had a “big factor” in the voting.

While Zamora remains firm on his position for Metro Manila to remain under GQC, he pointed out that there’s no such thing as a “right or wrong” vote.

“I just hope they will listen to the sentiments of the mayors because at the end of the day, kami ang mag i-implement on the ground (we’re the ones who implement on the ground),” Zamora said.

If the shift to MGCQ “really cannot be prevented,” Zamora said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has to inform the mayors “ahead of time” on what the guidelines will be.

“Kinakailangan malaman namin ng maaga (We need to know early on). We have to be able to prepare for the eventual shift to MCGQ,” he said.

Zamora also said that the shift to MGCQ should be “gradual” and not “abrupt.”

“Hindi pwedeng biglaan kasi baka naman ma-shock yung community, ma-shock tayong lahat, at masayang naman lahat ng pinaghirapan natin in the past 11 months (This should not be done abruptly because it might shock the community, all of us, and we end up wasting our efforts for the past 11 months),” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (