Duterte approves Luzon-wide community quarantine until April 30


MANILA, Philippines (Update 2: 11:01 a.m.) — The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon is extended until April 30, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Tuesday.

In a late night address Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte’s late night address where he said the government is “inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30.”

Nograles, in a virtual briefing Tuesday morning, said that the president accepted the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ recommendation to extend the ECQ in Luzon.

“Our [IATF’s] recommendation to President Duterte is accepted by the President, and he announced it last night,” Nograles said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“We verified it and the answer was the ECQ is hereby extended until 11:59 p.m. until April 30,” he added.

Nograles said the IATF passed two resolutions on Monday night. In Resolution No. 20, the IATF formally recommended “the extension of the implementation of the [ECQ] in the entirety of Luzon up to April 30, 2020” to the Office of the President.

He added that the resolution noted that exemptions previously granted by the IATF and the Office of the President shall continue in the duration of the extended enhanced community quarantine.

“Such extension of the ECQ shall be without prejudice to the discretion of the president to relax that implementation of the ECQ in some local jurisdictions or the ranting of exemptions in favor of certain sectors such as public health considerations and food security may warrant,” Nograles also said.

IATF recommendation

Nograles explained that experts said they will need until mid-April to really study the effect of the ECQ, which started on March 15.

This prompted the IATF to recommend and extension of the lockdown until April 30.

The extended lockdown will also help increase the health capacity of the country.

“When we say increasing health capacity, it included testing. Experts say that to manage COVID-10 effectively, we need to increase the country’s testing capacity that we may reach 8,000 to 10,000 tests per day,” he explained.

He also said that they need to have a 24-hour turnaround time for the release of COVID-19 test results. 

On March 25, the health department admitted that mass testing is not an option in the country due to limited testing kits and laboratory health capacity.

Peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Action Plan on COVID-19, said that the government is eyeing mass testing for possible COVID-1 infections and those who had close contact with patients on April 14.

Duterte public address

Duterte on Monday night said that the government is “inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30.”

The president also admitted that the government is getting "desperate" as it is under pressure to spend money even if it is not generating enough revenues due to slower economic activity.

"The P100 billion for one month or P270 billion for two months as estimated earlier is not enough. I'm calling on the secretary of finance to generate (revenues). Magnakaw ka, manghiram ka magproduce ka ng pera. Pag naubos na ito, di ko malaman (You steal, you borrow, produce money. If it runs out, I don't know)," Duterte said.

"We are finding ways to adjust the budget... We will prioritize the people, the stomach. If they have nothing to eat, a human being can become violent," the president said. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Alexis Romero

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. The STAR/Edd Gumban

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16, 2020 declares an enhanced community quarantine over all of mainland Luzon, an expansion of an earlier general community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

The entire National Capital Region—16 cities and a municipality—is under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, which means the enforcement of social distancing measures like letting fewer people on public transportation, reduced store hours, and the possibiity of curfews.

According to a memorandum issued by the Palace on Saturday, March 14, the quarantine means that "movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points."

Travel restrictions in and out of the capital will also be implemented.

March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

A labor group says another lockdown will never resolve rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines after the government announced that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under the enhanced community quarantine starting Monday.

“The Duterte government seems to be deliberate in focusing its efforts in imposing quarantine and lockdown measures instead of addressing the rising cases of COVID-19 and the worsening state of the pandemic through medical solutions and scientific approach,” says Defend Jobs Philippines.



March 27, 2021 - 7:06pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the implementation of enhanced community quarantine is meant to slow down the increase of COVID-19 cases, so hospitals and health workers will not be overwhelmed.

March 27, 2021 - 6:37pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announces that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under enhanced community quarantine starting Monday, March 29.

January 19, 2021 - 6:04pm

Tuguegarao City will be placed under enhanced community quarantine from January 20 to 29 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba approved the request of Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano to place the city under ECQ for 10 days.

According to the Cagayan Provincial Information Office, the city currently has 246 active cases.


Posted by Cagayan Provincial Information Office on Tuesday, 19 January 2021
April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Batangas, one of the provinces hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, has reported no new cases of the disease for two consecutive days.

The provincial DOH Office says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 91 with no new cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lipa City has the most cases with 26, followed by Batangas City (21) and Nasugbu (11).

Tanauan City has the fourth most cases with eight, followed by Bauan (5) and Alitagtag (3). Cuenca and Sto. Tomas City had two cases each, while the municipalities of Calaca, Lemery, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, San Jose, San Juan, San Pascual and Taal had one case each, respectively. — The Filipino Connection

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