President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has approved the extension of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine until April 30, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease announced on Tuesday.
President Duterte received a recommendation for the extension of the restriction, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the spokesperson of the IATF.
The guidelines governing the implementation of the quarantine would remain in effect, according to Nograles.
In a televised address Monday night, President Duterte said the government would likely extend the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine until April 30.
“If you really want to know, we have discussed it actually even before this, we are inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30. Tingnan natin after that,” he said.
The government, which imposed enhanced community quarantine, is supposed to lift the restriction on April 14.
Also during his address, the President asked for public patience and cooperation especially those who were hit hard by the current lockdown.
“Once again I am asking the utmost cooperation of the public in these trying times. Let us heed the needs of our poor brothers and sisters who are hit most by the pandemic,” he said.
“You know lahat tatamaan nito. Kaya sa lahat ng bansa sa mundo isang order lang: pasok kayo sa bahay huwag kayong lumabas kung ayaw ninyong mahawa.”
He also made a renewed call to well-to-do individuals and organizations to help the most vulnerable stressing the limitations of government resources.
Private companies must assist the government during the current health emergency, the President said, noting continued uncertainty will impact on everyone.
“I would like to be honest. Ang 100 billion pesos per month, 300 ‘yon, so ang 100 billion pesos budget or 270 billion pesos for two months as they are estimated, hindi talaga tatagal ‘yan,” the President said in making the appeal.
As the government starts to hand over cash assistance to low-income households, the President also said there are calls for the inclusion of the middle class in the grant of emergency subsidy.
While he favors supporting the middle class, the issue must be discussed thoroughly, he said.
Prior to the quarantine extension, the IATF spelled out parameters that would be considered before coming up with a decision such as trends in the COVID-19 epidemiological curve,
capacity of the health care system, as well as social, economic and security factors.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday that 414 new cases were recorded nationwide, bringing the total number of infected individuals to 3,660.