MANILA – There is a chance that President Rodrigo Duterte might be convinced to impose the most relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the entire Philippines, Malacañang said Friday.
This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and Metro Manila mayors have agreed to recommend the implementation of MGCQ status nationwide.
“Inaasahan naman natin dahil meron ng ganitong kasunduan sa panig ng IATF at ng mga Metro Manila mayors eh baka naman po sumang-ayon ang ating presidente (We expect that since both IATF and Metro Manila mayors have sought [the imposition of MGCQ in the country], perhaps the President might also agree),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with PTV-4.
He said Duterte might decide on the new quarantine classification in March during a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
However, the President’s decision will be announced before the end of February, Roque said.
He said the IATF-EID is now preparing for the possible declaration of MGCQ.
He said the “special rules” imposed in GCQ zones like Metro Manila would be lifted, in case Duterte decides to place the entire country under MGCQ.
“Wala na ‘yung special rules sa GCQ dahil lahat po tayo ngayon covered ng mga rules under MCGQ at least pagsimula ng a-uno ng Marso at kung papayagan ng Presidente (There would be no special rules imposed in GCQ, once the President agrees to declare MGC by March 1),” Roque said.
Apart from Metro Manila, other areas under GCQ in February are Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao del Norte, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur.
The rest of the country has stayed under the least restrictive MGCQ this month.
Duterte is currently studying Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua’s proposed shift to MGCQ status to balance health and economy amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
A study by the National Economic and Development Authority found that prolonged lockdowns in the country due to Covid-19 have caused 23.7 million people more to go hungry, 4.5 million more to fall into poverty, and 2.6 million to lose their jobs.
Roque on Thursday said the two-week growth rate and the daily attack rate would still be considered in determining the community quarantine classification in March. (PNA)