Metro Manila ready for GCQ, says Roque
Market goers at Brgy. Quirino 3A in Project 3, Quezon City observes social distancing in this photo taken March 22, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Metro Manila ready for GCQ, says Roque

Bella Perez-Rubio ( - May 28, 2020 - 1:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said that Metro Manila is ready to be placed under a less stringent general community quarantine. 

“The doubling rate is slowing… It has been consistent for a month. We have areas prepared for the confinement of the who are symptomatic,” Roque said in Filipino during today’s Palace briefing.

Roque, who is also spokesperson of the COVID-19 inter-agency task force, added that the doubling rate of novel coronavirus critical cases and critical care capacity are the criteria for deciding on whether to place areas under lockdown. 

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. 

Roque said data suggests that NCR is ready to shift to GCQ but everyone’s cooperation will be needed. He added that the government’s confidence in the Philippine people is high.

“They have proven that they can comply,” Roque said in FIlipino. 

However, the spokesperson also said that COVID-19 cases will inevitably rise while there is no vaccine or treatment available. 

Forecasted rise of cases under GCQ 

Researchers from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila also forecasted a rise in COVID-19 cases under GCQ. 

Although, unlike Roque, they said "these increases are not inevitable" and "can be offset with a rigorous tracking, testing and tracing program that seeks to limit community spread by breaking chains of viral transmission."  

Malacañang this week claimed that the country has met — and even exceeded — its target national testing capacity of 30,000 per day. However, data from the health department showed that around 10,000 samples or fewer are processed per day.

The Department of Health has clarified that the testing capacity of 32,000 is an estimate and does not mean that many tests are actually performed each day.

The World Health Organization recently sounded the alarm over the slow contact tracing being conducted by the government. 

Duterte yet to decide on lockdown plans

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Diseases (IATF) on Wednesday night recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte that Metro Manila be placed under GCQ from June 1 to 15.

The final decision still lies with President Rodrigo Duterte who will meet with the IATF and his Cabinet tonight.

Roque said Duterte will announce his decision Thursday night in a televised address. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the DOH reported 15,049 COVID-19 cases and a death toll of 904 in the country.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 18, 2021 - 4:05pm

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)

January 18, 2021 - 4:05pm

With 2,163 newly reported cases, coronavirus infections in the Philippines climb to 502,736 on Monday.

Active cases stand at 26,839 or 5.3% of the total cases.

Total of recovered patients is at 465,988 with two more recoveries while the death toll is at 9,909 with 14 additional deaths.

January 17, 2021 - 4:06pm

Coronavirus cases in the Philippines reach 500,577 with 1,895 new cases reported Sunday.

The Department of Health also logs 5,868 new survivors, bringing the recovery count to 465,991 while the death toll is at 9,895 with 11 new fatalities.

Active cases are at 24,691.

January 17, 2021 - 2:24pm

More than 400,000 overseas Filipino workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis have been brought home by the government, the DOLE reports.

Figures from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration show that 8,274 were sent to their home provinces last week, while 7,895 were also transported in the preceding week.

"After their ordeal in their country of origin, our dear OFWs were all provided accommodation, food, transportation and cash assistance by the government. Now, they are safely home with their families," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says.

January 16, 2021 - 4:18pm

The Department of Health reports an additional 2,058 cases of the coronavirus disease. This brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines to 498,691.

To date, there are 28,674 active cases. The DOH also reports eight new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 9,884. 406 more recovered, bringing the total number of COVID-19 survivors to 460,133.

January 15, 2021 - 4:03pm

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climb to 496,646 with 2,048 newly reported cases Friday.

Of the confirmed cases, 27,033 are active. The Department of Health also reports 551 new recoveries and 137 new deaths, bringing the total of recovered patients to 459,737 and the death toll to 9,876.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with