Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr., in his April 28 briefing, presented the latest resolutions of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). This is following President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s approval of the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in high- risk areas up to May 15, and for low to moderate risk areas to be under the general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1.
“Naaprubahan din po kahapon ng IATF na mag-extend ng ECQ sa ilang mga bayan at mga probinsya at mag-impose ng GCQ sa iba pang mga probinsya,” relayed Secretary Roque.
The areas that will remain under the ECQ until May 15 are the following: National Capital Region, Region III, except for the province of Aurora, Region IV-A or CALABARZON, Pangasinan, Benguet including Baguio City, Iloilo, Province of Cebu including Cebu City, and Davao City. All other areas or provinces not mentioned will be under the GCQ.
The Palace spokesman also explained the distinctions in areas that will be under the GCQ. “Meron pong distinction yung mga tinatawag na moderate at saka yung mga low-risk. Yung mga low-risk po, matapos ang Mayo akinse, pupwede na pong mawala sa quarantine. Yung mga moderate areas po na nasa GCQ pa rin, dedesisyunan po yan kung magpapatuloy pa rin sila sa GCQ,” said Secretary Roque.
The Spokesman likewise mentioned the directive to use the RT-PCR test for all returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from high-risk areas.
The Palace Official further disclosed that in the latest IATF resolution, the Department of Tourism is given authority to charter and fund sweeper flights for stranded local tourists from various regions of the country back to Metro Manila. Meanwhile, beginning May 4, 2020, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) would be allowed to operate with skeletal workforce in areas not under ECQ for the purpose of finishing the current academic year 2019-2020, and to prepare for flexible learning arrangements for the coming school year.
In the same press briefing, Sec. Roque outlined the industries that will be allowed to operate under both ECQ and GCQ, those that will be allowed under GCQ but not in ECQ areas, and those that will remain not operational in both ECQ and GCQ areas.
“Ito po ay rekomendasyon ng Department of Trade and Industry, hindi pa pormal naaprubahan pero tingin ko po ay meron ng consensus. So parang eto na po talaga yan, mabuti ng mabigyan ng advanced notice bagama’t sa susunod na briefing natin titingnan natin kung meron pang pagbabago. Pero eto na po yung mga recommended industries,” stressed Roque.
The following industries will be allowed to operate in GCQ areas, but not in areas under ECQ: manufacturing activities of beverages (non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks), cement and steel, electrical machinery, wood products and furniture, non-metallic products, textiles and wearing apparels, tobacco products, paper and paper products, rubber and plastic products, coke and refined petroleum products, other non-metallic mineral products, computer including electronic and optical products, electrical equipment, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles including trailers and semi-trailers, and other transport equipment.
Also allowed to operate in GCQ areas are malls and commercial centers, (which will include hardware stores, clothing and accessories, and non-leisure stores, apart from the establishments that are allowed to operate under ECQ); barber shops, salon, spas, and other personal care industries (subject to strict health standards); wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; construction and build build build; forestry and logging; publishing activities; motion picture, video and television program production, sound recording and music publishing activities; and advertising and market research.
Under GCQ areas, the following will also be allowed to operate: real estate activities (except for real estate buying and selling); office administrative, office support and other business activities; legal and accounting; insurance, reinsurance, and pension funding, except compulsory social security; architecture and engineering activities, including technical testing and analysis; scientific and research development; other professional, scientific, and technical activities; social work activities without accommodation; and all government offices. ### OPS-PCOO