Manila, Laguna, Cebu City placed under modified quarantine until May 31

Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu City will continue operating under a “modified enhanced community quarantine” until the end of the month, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval.

This decision to extend the quarantine from May 16 to 31 came after Duterte’s meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Monday night, May 11.

SAF PATROL. Members of the Mandaluyong Special Action Force patrol Barangay Mauway, which the city government placed under a four-day lockdown starting on Monday, May 11 because of the high incidence of COVID-19 infections. | photo by Ruy Martinez

“It is not ECQ as we know it. It is not GCQ (general community quarantine) as we know it. It’s somewhere in between. It is a transition phase po at ini-envision natin na matapos ang one month, makakapunta na tayong lahat sa GCQ (we envision that after one month, we will all transition to GCQ),” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in an online press briefing on Tuesday, May 12.

Under the new guidelines, individuals will be able to leave their homes for essential activities, such as going to the pharmacy or grocery store, and to go to work if the government has allowed their industries to reopen. It will also only allow the operation of selected manufacturing and processing plants up to a maximum of 50% workforce. Face-to-face classes will remain suspended.

Meanwhile, Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Central Luzon (Region 3), Calabarzon (Region 4-A), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Central Visayas (Region 7) except Cebu City, Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9), Davao Region (Region 11), and Caraga (Region 13) will be under the general community quarantine.

Areas under this type of quarantine will have limited movement to services and work. There will also be limited transporting services to support government and private sector operations. The quarantine will also allow operation of government offices and industries up to a maximum of 75% workforce and flexible learning arrangements for students.

On the other hand, Ilocos (Region 1), Mimaropa (Region 4-B), Bicol (Region 5), Western Visayas (Region 6), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Northern Mindanao (Region 10), Soccsksargen (Region 12), and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) will no longer be under any type of quarantine — provided that minimum health standards are observed.

“Hanggang walang vaccine kinakailangan minimum health standards. Iyong mga minimum health standards — social distancing, good hygiene, temperature control, temperature checks at iba pang mga pini-prescribe po ngayon ng DOH (For as long as there is no vaccine, minimum health standards are needed. These are social distancing, good hygiene, temperature control, temperature checks and others prescribed by the Department of Health),” Roque explained.

As of Tuesday, there are 11,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 751 fatalities and 2,106 recoveries.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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