In this May 8, 2020 photo, Taguig City uses the Lakeshore Activity Center as an isolation center and a drive thru testing areas for the city's residents.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos, file
IATF recommends GCQ in Metro Manila starting June 1
Bella Perez-Rubio ( - May 28, 2020 - 10:03am

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Diseases (IATF) on Wednesday night recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte that Metro Manila be placed under a less stringent general community quarantine (GCQ). 

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed this in an interview with CNN Philippines' "The Source" on Thursday. 

"For Metro Manila, our recommendation is that it undergoes general community quarantine, except for high risk barangays, the so-called critical zones, which will stay under total lockdown," Secretary Año said in Filipino. He added that barangays with more than two COVID-19 cases within seven days will be considered high-risk. 

Año said the final decision still lies with Duterte who will meet with the IATF and his Cabinet tonight.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that Duterte will announce his decision Thursday night in a televised address.

IATF special adviser Tony Leachon today in a radio interview with radio dzBB also confirmed the recommended shift to GCQ in both Metro Manila and Davao. He added that Cebu City would remain under modified enhanced community quarantine as it is considered the second epicenter of the COVID-19 virus. 

Metro Manila mayors on Tuesday night voted unanimously to graduate the region from modified enhanced community quarantine to GCQ.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who also chairs the Metro Manila Council, previously said that the mayors preferred a shift to GCQ to alleviate the economic effects of the COVID-induced quarantine. 

Under GCQ, several non-essential industries will be allowed to reopen. Public transport will also be allowed to resume operations at a reduced capacity to ensure proper social distancing. 

There are currently 15,049 COVID-19 cases and a death toll of 904 in the country. The World Health Organization also recently sounded the alarm over the slow contact tracing being conducted by the government.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 3, 2020 - 10:19am

Other regions and provinces in the Philippines considered moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Bookmark this page for updates. (Main image by The STAR/Edd Gumban)

July 3, 2020 - 10:19am

The local government of Valenzuela announces that daycare students received Nutri-Packs as the general community quarantine has been extended. 

“Public daycare students will get their 2nd Nutri-Pack from the city government... We want to make sure they have enough nutritional intake during these quarantine times,” Mayor Rex Gatchalian says.

July 1, 2020 - 3:10pm

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon agrees with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III that quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and other economic centers need to be relaxed soon.

"I support Secretary Dominguez’s call to ease restrictions in the National Capital Region and Calabarzon and put them under the  modified general community quarantine," Drilon says in an e-mailed statement.

 "I’m afraid that any further delay in the easing of quarantine restrictions in these two economic centers will cause further damage to our economy and our people who have lost their livelihood."

July 1, 2020 - 12:10am

Health Secretary Francisco Duque says Metro Manila, Benguet, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu Mandaue, Leyte, Ormoc,.Southern Leyte, Talisay City to be placed under general community quarantine.

June 29, 2020 - 10:22am

La Trinidad town hall in Benguet province on Monday resumes its operations after a week on lockdown for an intensive contact tracing and disinfection after four front liners tested positive of COVID-19.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda imposed the lockdown at the municipal hall and other areas around the municipality on June 18.

Three police officers of the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station and a municipal health worker assigned at the operation center at the municipal hall also tested positive during the conduct of the expanded mass testing for frontline workers in the Cordillera.

All 277 LGU employees were all swabbed and tested negative while disinfection activities were done in the different offices and facilities in La Trinidad, Salda said, as this will become their “new normal”. — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

June 27, 2020 - 12:30pm

Government Service Insurance System says the state pension fund has extended its COVID-19 loan moratorium program for members, pensioners and other borrowers by another month or until June 2020.

“The extension will provide relief to many government employees and pensioners whose families are having financial difficulties because of the COVID-19 crisis. We earlier implemented a three-month moratorium from March to May 2020," GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet says.

"However, with the continuing crisis and quarantine measures, we made it a four-month moratorium to tide over our members and pensioners,” he adds.

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