Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año is pushing for the placing of the entire country under Alert Level 1 to expedite economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yes, that is what I am striving for. The whole country should be under Alert Level 1 so that almost all of our restrictions are limited only to the minimum public health standards and various localities will progress and take off,’’ Año said in Filipino in a radio interview on Monday.
He also noted that the government has made adjustments to the requirements to place an area under Alert Level 1 like the required vaccination rate of the A2 (senior citizens) population from the previous 80 percent to the current 70 percent.
“We should get vaccinated so that even if we have another case surge, we are ready to face it. Anyway, vaccines are free and proven to be safe and effective, what we need to do, and the information campaigns of our LGUs (local government units) must be continuous, as well as strategic communication and providing incentives to encourage those unvaccinated to get vaccinated,” he added.
He added that municipalities now can also be placed under Alert Level 1 based on the healthcare utilization rate of their province.
Earlier, Año believed that Metro Manila and many other areas will be placed under Alert Level 1 until June after these locations were downshifted to the most relaxed health restriction against the pandemic from April 1 to 15.
The DILG chief reasoned out that this is due to the steady decline in the Covid-19 active cases in the country but at the same time warned the people never to be complacent emphasizing them to still strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards.
Comparing the data from March 21 to 27 to the previous week, Año pointed to the 24 percent decline of Covid-19 active cases, describing these as good numbers that he hopes will place the whole country under Alert Level 1.