Cebu City shifts to modified ECQ; Metro Manila remains under GCQ

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2020   •   561

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City eases to modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ starting Thursday (July 16) while the entire Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine (GCQ). 

This was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday night (July 15) after President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Cebu City was placed under the strictest quarantine restrictions following the spike in cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the area. 

The Task Force in June focused its response on Cebu City after COVID-19 situations worsened partly due to conflicts among local government officials prompting the President to send Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to handle the problems and enforce strict measures in the area.

Under MECQ, essential workers and authorized persons outside of residence are allowed to go out.

Selected industries will also be allowed to operate under 50% operational capacity. 

Public transport will also be allowed on a limited basis only for essential goods and services.

Meanwhile, the general community quarantine (GCQ) over Metro Manila will be extended until July 31 as approved by President Duterte despite previously considering recommendations from experts of the University of the Philippines to revert the capital to MECQ to further contain the outbreak.

Experts forecast that the virus infection might surge to 80,000 by the end of the month, thus the national government is warning all Metro Manila residents to follow health protocols and practice health precautions, otherwise it will be compelled to impose again the strictest quarantine measures. 

“Pumayag po ang ating Presidente na huwag munang ibalik ang Metro Manila sa MECQ sa susunod na dalawang linggo (The President agreed not to revert Metro Manila to MECQ in the next two weeks),” Roque said. 

“Pero malinaw po sa diskusyon, kapag hindi pa rin po napabagal ang COVID sa Metro Manila, posibleng pong bumalik sa MECQ pagkatapos po nitong dalawang linggo, (But it was clear in the discussion that if COVID cases in Metro Manila do not subside, there is a possibility of reverting to MECQ after two weeks),” he added. 

To further control the problem, Roque said the Metro Manila mayors vowed to intensify their respective localized lockdowns as well as testing, tracing and treatment in addition to the strict implementation of the GCQ. 

Aside from Metro Manila, other areas placed under GCQ starting July 16 are: Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Zamboanga City, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Basilan, and Talisay, Minglanilla, and Concepcion in Cebu Province.

Meanwhile, the following areas will be under MGCQ (medium-risk) starting July 16:

  • CAR- Benguet, Baguio City
  • Region 1 – Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, La Union, Dagupan City
  • Region 2 – Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya
  • Region 3 – Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Zambales, Angeles City
  • Region 4A – Batangas, Quezon, Lucena City
  • Region 4B – Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa City
  • Region 5 – Albay, Masbate, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Naga City
  • Region 6 – Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo City, Bacolod City
  • Region 7 – Negros Oriental, Bohol, Cebu Province
  • Region 8 – Western Samar, Leyte, Biliran, Tacloban City
  • Region 9 – Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Norte
  • Region 10 – Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Lanao Del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City
  • Region 11 – Davao Oriental, Davao Del Norte, Davao Del Sur, Davao De Oro, Davao City
  • Region 12 – Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, South Cotabato, General Santos City
  • Region 13 – Agusan Del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur
  • BARMM – Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao

The rest of the country is placed under a category called low-risk MGCQ. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Cebu City limits cemetery visits to fully vaccinated people during Undas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2021

Visit to cemeteries in Cebu City during the period of Undas on November 1 and 2 will only be limited to individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an order released by the city government.

In a post on its Facebook page, the city government said the policy is contained in the Directive No. 10-14-01 recently issued by Mayor Michael Rama.

In the order dated October 15, Rama said that only five visitors per grave will be allowed at any given time.

Visitors are also advised to stay at a maximum of one hour inside the cemetery and “must be considerate to those who are still outside and are waiting to be granted entry.”

Rama’s order also stated that bringing of food, eating, and drinking of alcoholic beverages inside the cemetery premises are prohibited.

Any form of gambling and other recreational activities are also prohibited.

A categorized, scheduled, and regulated open house admission regardless of vaccination status will be allowed on Oct. 18 to 31, and from Nov. 3 to 5, the city government said.

The national government earlier ordered the closure of cemeteries from October 29 to November 2 in anticipation of the influx of people amid the continuing threat of COVID-19.

IATF places Bulacan, Apayao, Capiz under GCQ beginning October 18

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— Quarantine restrictions in the provinces of Bulacan, Apayao, and Capiz have been downgraded, Malacañang announced Sunday.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the recommendation to place the said provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) from October 18 to October 31, ” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Bulacan and Apayao were initially placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) while Capiz was previously under GCQ with heightened restrictions.

Under GCQ, any person below 18 years old, above 65 years old, including those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women, shall be required to remain in their residences at all times, except for obtaining essential goods and services, or for work in industries and offices.

Entertainment and recreational venues, casinos, and outdoor sports are sill not permitted to operate during GCQ. Face-to-face or in-person classes for basic education shall be suspended. AAC

LIST: Areas under MECQ, GCQ until Oct. 31

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the placement of several areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang said Wednesday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the latest risk-level classifications shall take effect beginning October 16 until October 31.

The following areas have been placed under MECQ:

  • Apayao
  • Kalinga
  • Batanes
  • Bulacan
  • Bataan
  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • Naga City
  • Zamboanga City
  • Zamboanga del Norte

Meanwhile, the following areas are placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions:

  • Abra
  • Baguio City
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Pangasinan
  • Cagayan
  • Isabela
  • City of Santiago
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Quezon
  • Batangas
  • Bacolod City
  • Capiz
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Negros Oriental
  • Bohol
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao Occidental
  • Davao de Oro
  • Butuan City
  • Surigao del Sur

Also approved under GCQ are the following areas:

  • Ilocos Norte
  • Dagupan City
  • Ifugao
  • Benguet
  • Tarlac
  • Lucena City
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Puerto Princesa
  • Marinduque
  • Albay
  • Camarines Norte
  • Aklan
  • Antique
  • Guimaras
  • Negros Occidental
  • Iloilo City
  • Iloilo Province
  • Cebu City
  • Cebu Province
  • Mandaue City
  • Siquijor
  • Tacloban City
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Iligan City
  • Davao City
  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao del Sur
  • General Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Sarangani
  • North Cotabato
  • South Cotabato
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Cotabato City
  • Lanao del Sur

All other areas shall be placed under Modified General Community Quarantine, Roque said.

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