Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday that Metro Manila mayors agreed to extend the general community quarantine (GCQ) in the National Capital Region  as COVID-19 remains a major threat.

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(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview over Teleradyo, Año also said that Metro Manila mayors were also planning to further ease business transactions and travel restrictions to revive the cash-strapped economy.

However, Año didn’t say if the preferred GCQ status in Metro Manila will be imposed only for next month or until the end of the year.

The pilot study of motorcycle taxis has been allowed to resume with millions of workers now going back to work with some industries being opened to boost the economy.

Despite the steady rise of economic activity, Año said many individuals are now cautious and opted to remain at home even if there is now more public transport available.

Año attributed this to the fear of being infected with COVID-19 even if there is already the flattening of the curve.

The country employs a community quarantine scheme ranging from the strictest enhanced community quarantine to the most relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Meanwhile, Año said that through the information of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Greco Belgica, the DILG has probed 373 administrative complaints for alleged Social Amelioration Program (SAP) irregularities involving 434 barangay officials and personnel – 238 barangay captains, 62 Sangguniang Barangay members, five Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials, and 129 other barangay personnel and officials. 

Año noted that 265 criminal cases have been filed before the Prosecutors’ Office with 84 having resolutions and 28 others brought to the courts.

The DILG chief is now awaiting for the complete lineup of the other 7,000 complaints which will be up for validation and assessment to determine if there is prima facie evidence to prove the allegations against officials involved in SAP-related anomalies.

This is to ensure that there are basis to impose sanctions against the accused barangay or local government unit officials or to determine if the complaints were merely fabricated. 

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