Cebu, Mandaue and Zamboanga cities placed under GCQ starting June 1

Marje Pelayo   •   June 1, 2020   •   187

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from Metro Manila, several areas have also been placed also under general community quarantine (GCQ) for 15 days starting Monday (June 1).

Based on the latest announcement by Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, these areas include the entire Region VII or Central Visayas particularly Cebu City and Mandaue City as well as Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

The decision to place these areas under GCQ came after their local governments appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 for a reclassification of quarantine status.

These areas are in addition to the previously announced regions and localities which will be under GCQ starting June 1, namely the National Capital Region, Pangasinan, Regions II, III, IV-A and Davao City.

Meanwhile, all other areas not mentioned will be placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting next month. 

Therefore, starting Monday (June 1), two community quarantine measures will be implemented — the general community quarantine (GCQ) where most industries and economic sectors will be allowed to operate; and the modified general community quarantine (NGCQ) which is the last phase towards the transition to the ‘new normal.’ MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Religious gatherings up to 10% of venue capacity to be allowed in GCQ areas after July 10 – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday announced that religious gatherings involving attendees of up to 10% of the venue capacity will soon be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is based on the latest resolution approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases following calls for the partial reopening of places of worship.

Roque said the new policy will take effect next Friday, July 10.

“Magkakaroon muna po tayo ng dry run na 10% itong darating na linggo, pero yung 10% po na allowed na ang lahat ay magsisimula po ng July 10,” he said in a televised press briefing.

The Palace official stressed that public health standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face mask, disinfection and hand hygiene, should be strictly followed.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that the following areas will be under GCQ from July 1 to July 15:

  • National Capital Region
  • Cavite
  • Benguet
  • Rizal
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Talisay City
  • Towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu Province
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte

Roque also announced that operation of travel agencies in GCQ areas will also be allowed but only limited to a skeleton workforce.

The Department of Trade and Industry will also release a set of guidelines on additional services that will be allowed in salons and barbershops.

The latest IATF resolution also states that practice and conditioning sessions for professional basketball and football teams will also be permitted.

Roque said the move comes after a joint administrative order was signed between the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board, and the Department of Health to allow limited physical activities amid the community quarantine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte extends ECQ in Cebu City; GCQ in Metro Manila until July 15

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to extend the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City until July 15, 2020.

The President noted the “stubbornness” of its residents despite strict government protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19. He cited the situation in Talisay City where people tend to ignore social distancing protocols, with some even engaging in drinking sprees and gambling.

Ayaw ninyo maniwala, bakit marami? One of the reasons — even without consulting the Body— because you did not follow rules,” President Duterte said.

“You have the highest. Cebu is now the new hotspot for COVID-19. Bakit? Marami sa inyo ay hindi sumusunod,” he added.

The President expressed concern over the situations in Cebu City which he hopes will improve through the supervision of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the following areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15:

  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Benguet
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte
  • Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion Municipalities in Cebu Province

The President commended the response of residents in the said areas to the government-imposed protocols which helped slow down the rate of COVID-19 infection.

You know Manila, maraming tao but because sumunod nila — with few violations thereabout— we here in Manila have a good chance of at least avoiding it,” he said.

To save the economy, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguz recommended to the President the further relaxing of quarantine measures in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region. 

The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) specifically those identified as moderate and low risk areas where localized community quarantine and minimum health standards may strictly be observed. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DSWD provides aid to locally-stranded individuals in Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday assured it will continue to provide assistance to individuals who are stranded in Metro Manila due to coronavirus quarantine measures.

“DSWD will continue to coordinate with local government units and concerned agencies to determine and provide appropriate interventions and assistance to LSIs (locally-stranded individuals) in Metro Manila,” the agency said in a statement on Monday night.

The department said that on June 17, it provided financial assistance, through its Field Office National Capital Region (FO-NCR), to around 500 LSIs currently staying in Pier 4 in North Port, Manila.

Most of the LSIs who received aid under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program were stranded workers, students and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were unable to return to their provinces amid the coronavirus crisis.

The DSWD also reported that LSIs temporarily staying in the facility of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City have also received financial aid on June 19.

Officers of the DSWD FO also went to the Philippine Coast Guard Gymnasium, Eva Macapagal Port Area in Manila to distribute Family Food Packs (FFPs), sleeping kits, and sanitation kits for OFWs stranded in Pier 15, South Port.

Earlier, the department also provided financial assistance and non-food items to LSIs staying at the Villamor Airbase Elementary School and at the Philippine State College of Aeronautics in Pasay City.

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