Metro Manila to remain under GCQ; MECQ over Cebu City


MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:53 p.m.) — For two more weeks starting Thursday, July 16, the National Capital Region will remain under general community quarantine while Cebu City loosens restrictions to modified enhanced community quarantine.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who made the announcement, said that a return to modified ECQ in Metro Manila is still possible if cases continue to rise in the capital in the next two weeks.

He said UP researchers had recommended a return to MECQ but said that presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the national strategy against COVID-19, had urged that GCQ be retained instead.

Roque added Metro Manila mayors said they would be able to address rising cases in their areas.

The following areas will stay under GCQ for two more weeks:

  • National Capital Region
  • Laguna
  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Mandaue City
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Ormoc City
  • Southern Leyte
  • Zamboanga City
  • Butuan City
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Basilan

The following are designated as modified GCQ, medium risk:

Cordillera Administrative Region

  • Benguet
  • Baguio City

Ilocos Region

  • Ilocos Sur
  • Pangasinan
  • Ilocos Norte
  • La Union
  • Dagupan City;

Cagayan Valley

  • Cagayan
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya

Central Luzon

  • Bataan
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales
  • Angeles City


  • Batangas
  • Quezon
  • Lucena City


  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Puerto Princesa City

Bicol Region

  • Albay
  • Masbate
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Catanduanes
  • Sorsogon
  • Naga City

Western Visayas

  • Iloilo
  • Negros Occidental
  • Capiz, Antique
  • Aklan
  • Guimaras
  • Iloilo City
  • Bacolod City

Central Visayas

  • Negros Oriental
  • Bohol
  • Cebu Province;

Eastern Visayas

  • Western Samar
  • Leyte
  • Biliran
  • Tacloban City;

Zamboanga Peninsula

  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Zamboanga del Norte;

Northern Mindanao

  • Misamis Occidental
  • Bukidnon
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Iligan City;

Davao Region

  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao del Sur
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao City;


  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Cotabato
  • South Cotabato
  • General Santos City;

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

  • Lanao del Sur
  • Maguindanao

Other areas not mentioned are under low-risk MGCQ, Roque said. 

Classes will still open on August 24, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said, suggesting that local governments could shoulder the weight of distributing learning resources to students' homes. 

The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 has said that many hotspots are still being monitored in Metro Manila, including Navotas City, where the national police have deployed over 300 Special Action Force commandos to aid in the strict enforcement of quarantine rules. 

Metro Manila has been under GCQ since the beginning of June to restart the country's economy, though the coronavirus cases being added daily have been rising.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque earlier Wednesday afternoon said that the country had "successfully flattened the curve since April" only to walk the claim back later on after drawing flak. 

As of the 120th day since enhanced community quarantine was first implemented on March 17, the daily additions in coronavirus cases have begun numbering in the thousands of cases. This is partly because of expanded testing capacity. 

The government is also set to mount Oplan Kalinga, where coronavirus patients under home quarantine will be "transferred" from their homes to government quarantine facilities. This, as the national police is set to intensify its operations on the barangay level, even likening the coming operation to the earlier 'anti-tambay' campaign in 2018.

As the national government addresses the pandemic, it has also enacted the Anti-Terrorism Act. A panel of the House of Representatives has also rejected the franchise application of ABS-CBN Corp., putting the livelihoods of thousands of workers at risk.

House lawmakers have also filed a bill petitioning for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to be renamed to the "Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas."

As of the health department's latest update on Wednesday, there have been 58,850 confirmed cases in the country since the virus first emerged in December. The Philippines is still enduring the longest quarantine in the world. 

Worldwide, the coronavirus disease 2019 has now sickened over 13.4 million. Some 582,000 have died as a result. 

Franco Luna

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