The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is recommending that the whole of the Philippines be placed under the most lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), but it will still be President Rodrigo Duterte who will have to make the final decision.
“The IATF has agreed to make a recommendation to the President to place the entire of the country under MGCQ,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in Filipino during a morning TV show over 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 cThere would be no special rules imposed in GCQ, once the President agrees to declare MGCQ 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. SOVEREIGNPH