President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved on Thursday the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to loosen the restriction in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces placing them under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to May 31.
In an announcement during President Duterte’s Talk to the People, National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite will be placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions.
Other areas that are put under GCQ includes Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Puerto Princesa, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur.
Meanwhile, Santiago City in Isabela, Quirino, Ifugao and Zamboanga City will be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), while modified GCQ was imposed for the rest of the Philippines.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that although the quarantine restriction has loosened up, some prohibitions will remain to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Individuals aged 18 to 65 years old can leave their household in GCQ areas but for essential purposes only.
Indoor dine-in services are allowed but with 20 percent seating capacity only, while outdoor or al fresco dining will be permitted at 50 percent capacity.
Outdoor tourist attractions, personal care services such as salons, parlors, and beauty clinics are allowed at 30 percent capacity.
Religious gatherings and necrological services can be conducted at 10 percent venue capacity.
Also in his address, President Duterte warned everyone not to ignore the minimum public health protocols especially during this time of fiestas in the country.
“I do not attribute it in any other particular religion or what but there are a lot of fiestas kasi predominantly Catholic country ito. So ang hinihingi ko is that you only not tone down but forgo kasi may batas. Forgo to congregate, to crowd and to hold,” he said.
“Eh walang problema alam ng Diyos na love natin siya pero ang problema ang — the unnecessary consequence of it all. So be mindful of that because we are still in the pandemic and there is no way of knowing how long this would last in this planet,” he added.
The President reiterated that he would not allow any violations in the government-mandated guidelines, warning local officials that he would hold them accountable.
“So, you have to enforce it because if you want this country to recover from the onslaught of COVID-19, you have to be mindful of the what is going on and how to prevent it,” he said. PND