BY ELLSON QUISMORIO
It’s now final – operations of gyms, spas, and Internet cafes in Metro Manila are now temporarily suspended.
This was confirmed Wednesday by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) after 17 mayors of metropolis unanimously voted to suspend their operations until April 4.
“The Metro Manila Council (MMC) temporarily suspends the operation of gyms, spas, and Internet cafes in the National Capital Region (NCR) until 04 April 2021 through the Metro Manila Local Government Units,” read the two-page MMDA Resolution No. 21-05 Series of 2021.
Sharon Gentalian, chief of MMDA’s Public Affairs Staff-Public Information Office (PAS-PIO), told reporters that the mayors voted on the matter last Tuesday.
The resolution had all the signatures of the 17 mayors, which comprise the MMC and also MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos.
“It has been determined by the Metro Manila Local Government Units that gyms, spas, and Internet cafes encourage the congregation of persons thereby increasing the risk of community transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants,” the resolution read.
“To set a standardized approach and for uniformity within the NCR, the 17 local chief executives in Metro Manila agreed to enact or amend their respective executive orders and/ or adopt their respective ordinances temporarily suspending the operation of gyms, spas, and Internet cafes until 04 April 2021,” it added.
Nearly 13,000 deaths from the disease have been recorded in the country since last year. The new MMDA resolution further noted that minimum public health measures were adopted for certain businesses, industries, and activities in the NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 104, Series of 2021.
The IATF directive had placed NCR and the four nearby provinces in a “travel bubble” from March 22 to April 4.
Both the IATF and MMDA resolutions pointed to the sudden surge in new COVID-19 cases as reason for the directives. The MMC is the policy-making body of the MMDA. (Ellson A. Quismorio)