Local government units (LGUs) will be at the forefront of determining the quarantine status in their areas as part of the country’s possible shift to granular lockdowns, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.
“What will happen here in our shift of policy is that there will be no massive lockdown if not granular lockdowns and LGUs will play a big role because they will actually determine their community quarantine classification and only the national will determine when there is a specific area should be placed in ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) or maximum lockdown but of course it has different categories depending on the alert level. This is for some areas to continue economic activity under GCQ (general community quarantine),” Año said in Filipino in a radio interview.
He added that this is among the measures eyed by the government in “living with the virus” while ensuring continuity of livelihood as part of pandemic response efforts.
“It will not severely affect a whole province or entire city of being paralyzed. By this time, we will have a big population of vaccinated persons. We are adjusting to the changing times,’’ he added in Filipino.
On Thursday, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) expressed hope that community quarantine measures would be less restrictive by September to ease the impacts of lockdowns on the economy.
Año, however, clarified that the plan has yet to be approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Under granular lockdowns, Año stressed that except for healthcare workers, other authorized persons outside residence (APORs) are prohibited from leaving their homes.
Año said this came as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has recommended to the President an extension of the state of calamity in the country due to Covid-19 which is set to lapse on September 12.
“We are working to jive this with a possible shift in policy and for our LGUs to prepare for this, but of course, this will happen upon the President’s approval,” he added.