MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO), which formally allows the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country.
EO 112, inked by Duterte on April 30, approves the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) recommendation to impose ECQ in high-risk areas and GCQ in the rest of the country until May 15.
Under the EO, ECQ is implemented in Metro Manila; Central Luzon, except Aurora; Calabarzon; Benguet; Pangasinan; Iloilo province; Cebu province; Bacolod City; and Davao City.
“An ECQ shall be in effect in the entirety of [these] geographic areas, including all provinces, highly-urbanized cities (HUCs), independent component cities (ICCs), component cities (CCs), and municipalities situated therein, from 12:01 a.m. of 01 May 2020 to 11:59 p.m. of 15 May 2020,” the EO said.
The IATF-EID recommended on Wednesday the extension of ECQ in high-risk areas in the country and the imposition of GCQ in all low-risk and moderate-risk areas nationwide from May 1 to 15.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said Iloilo City and Cebu City are covered by the ECQ.
The EO provides that GCQ is imposed in all other areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, provided that “minimum health standards are achieved and continuously observed in these areas.”
EO 112 also notes that the community quarantine by a local government unit (LGU), regardless of nomenclature, ceased to take effect on 12:01 a.m. of May 1.
“The IATF may lift the GCQ in low-risk areas after 15 May 2020, provided that no deterioration in their risk level occurs,” the order read.
The EO states that all decisions to impose, lift, or extend a community quarantine in provinces, HUCs, and ICCs will rest with the IATF-EID.
Provincial governors may impose, lift or extend ECQ in CCS and municipalities upon the concurrence of the relevant regional counterpart body of the IATF-EID, according to the order.
EO 112 states that mayors of cities and municipalities are also authorized to impose, lift or extend ECQ in villages, upon the concurrence of the relevant regional counterpart body of the IATF-EID.
“This is without prejudice to the authority of the IATF to directly impose, lift or extend ECQ in these areas, should circumstances call for it,” it said. “No LGU shall declare its own community quarantine. regardless of nomenclature, without observing the foregoing procedure.”
The EO also adopts the omnibus guidelines on the community quarantine in the country.
Any amendment or modification of the omnibus guidelines may be approved by the IATF-EID sans the need for further approval of Duterte.
“There is a need to build on the existing response measures of the government relative to the Covid-19 outbreak, maximize the gains we have achieved thus far, and complement efforts to strengthen the health systems capacity of hospitals, medical facilities, and LGUs,” EO 112 said.
All government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities, including state colleges and universities, government-owned or -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, and LGUs, are directed to render full assistance to and cooperation with each other and mobilize the necessary resources for the ECQ and GCQ.
The EO said that if any of the provisions is held unconstitutional or invalid, the other provisions not affected will “remain in full force and effect.”
All orders, rules, regulations, and issuances that are inconsistent with EO 112 are “repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.”
“These challenging times call for the full and sincere cooperation of all LGUs, in the true spirit of nationalism and bayanihan (teamwork), as unilateral decisions to close off territorial boundaries and restrict the movement of workers and cargoes compromise the collective interests of all Filipinos and the country as a whole,” the order said.
EO 113, a copy of which was released by Malacañan on Friday, takes effect immediately upon publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation. (IA/PNA)