President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday announced the relaxation of quarantine restrictions in the country despite the government’s continuing battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a public address, Duterte said General Community Quarantine (GCQ) will be imposed in Metro Manila, Davao City, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, and Albay starting June 1.
Duterte said the implementation of GCQ will remain in effect until the general situation has been reviewed.
“We are not happy to put you in this place but after review, maybe we can,” he said in his speech delivered late Thursday night.
Duterte’s decision was based on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“The rest of the country will be placed under the modified general community quarantine. That is very clear now,” he said.
Duterte said his official mouthpiece, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, would give updates on the possible changes in the latest classification of community quarantine in some places in the country.
“In other areas, it will be again on a piecemeal basis depending on the viability of the place to meet the challenges of Covid-19. From time to time, Secretary Roque will give us the places where there will be changes,” he said.
Metro Manila along with Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales are presently under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until May 31.
ECQ was earlier imposed in Cebu and Mandaue cities from May 16 to 31 since these are considered as high-risk areas for Covid-19 while the rest of the country were placed under GCQ until May 31.
Duterte said the government needs to continue the imposition of strict quarantine measures to ensure the Filipinos’ protection against Covid-19.
“The state has every right to control your movement if you pass on a contagion to the other population,” he said.
Duterte’s latest announcement was different from the supposed recommendations of the IATF-EID contained in the leaked resolution circulating on social media.
Resolution 40, which was allegedly approved by the IATF-EID on Wednesday, recommended the implementation of MECQ in Cebu City.
The leaked resolution also stated that beginning June 1, GCQ would be imposed in Baguio City; Pangasinan; Cagayan Valley; Central Luzon; Metro Manila; Calabarzon; Albay; Iloilo City; Central Visayas, except Cebu City; Zamboanga City; and Davao City.
Duterte did not mention that Cebu City will be placed under MECQ. (PNA)