Duterte admin to issue its last COVID-19 alert levels

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Duterte admin to issue its last COVID-19 alert levels
Shoppers wear face masks as protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while inside a market in Marikina City.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Before it exits on Thursday, the Duterte administration will still issue COVID-19 alert levels for the first half of July, officials said.

Three Cabinet members confirmed to The STAR that the alert classifications for July 1 to 15 were included in the agenda at the meeting of the government’s pandemic task force yesterday.

“We are having our last IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) meeting. We might tackle it today (June 27),” National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a text message.

Asked if the Duterte administration would still issue the alert levels for July 1 to 15, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said: “Yes... It’s in the agenda in the IATF meeting today.”

This was echoed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who noted that the alert classifications have to be announced before they take effect.

“The IATF has legal authority per EO (executive order), and it is institutional and not personality-based. And alert levels have to be announced before the period covered, for preparation of corresponding protocols. And we have to prevent a void if the alert level is not yet determined,” Lopez told The STAR.

Malacañang has yet to provide information about the alert levels as of press time.

Metro Manila is still under the most lenient Alert Level 1 as the hospital utilization rates in the capital region remains manageable despite an uptick in COVID-19 infections.

A majority or 84 out of 121 provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities and 161 out of 758 other component cities and municipalities are under Alert Level 1 until the end of the month.

Under Alert Level 1, businesses and venues for mass gatherings may be filled to their capacities. The permitted capacities in areas under the stricter Alert Level 2 are limited to 50 percent for indoor venues and 70 percent for outdoor venues.

Areas under Alert Level 1 include Metro Manila, which is composed of the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Pasig, Marikina, Taguig, Quezon, Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Pasay and the municipality of Pateros.

Other areas under Alert Level 1 are Abra, Apayao, Baguio City, Kalinga and Mountain Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Dagupan City, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan in Ilocos region; Batanes, Cagayan, City of Santiago, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino in Cagayan Valley; Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales in Central Luzon; Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Lucena City and Rizal in Calabarzon; Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa City and Romblon in Mimaropa; and Albay, Catanduanes, Naga City and Sorsogon in Bicol.

Also under the most lenient alert status are Aklan, Bacolod City, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Iloilo City in Western Visayas; Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City (Opon), Mandaue City and Siquijor in Central Visayas; Biliran, Eastern Samar, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte and Tacloban City in Eastern Visayas; Zamboanga City in Zamboanga peninsula; Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Iligan City, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao; Davao City and Davao Oriental in Davao region; South Cotabato in Soccsksargen; Butuan City, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte in Caraga; and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. – Mayen Jaymalin


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