Statement of Speaker Velasco in support of lowering COVID-19 alert level in Metro Manila

We fully support the proposal to further ease COVID-19 restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) amid the steady decline in new infections as this would result in broader reopening of the economy. Downgrading Metro Manila’s lock-down restrictions to Alert Level 2 would mean that more businesses will resume operations and operate at increased capacity, thus allowing more Filipinos to regain their jobs and income.

The government’s aggressive vaccination campaign has given us ample protection against a possible surge in COVID-19 cases. Around 80 percent of NCR residents have been fully vaccinated, and 96 percent have received their first dose. Given these data, we can confidently reopen as many businesses as possible and get our economy back on track. Lowering the alert level in NCR as soon as possible could jump start the economy with increased consumer spending encouraging increase in production and economic activity, thereby bringing about employment opportunities for our kababayans. We can see this happening as the holiday season draws near.

To sustain and build on the current momentum of the government’s vaccination efforts, may we ask the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to check the effectivity or efficiency of each brand of COVID-19 vaccines so as to give notice to our kababayans when they need to get a booster or get another round of vaccine.

We also urge those who have yet to be inoculated to avail of the vaccines procured by the national government. This is the only way to ensure the safety of everyone as we slowly go back to our normal lives, to the way things were before the pandemic. Until then, let us continue to abide by the minimum health standards set by medical and science experts, such as wearing of face mask and maintaining physical distancing, for us to stay safe during the health crisis.

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