Cebu placed under GCQ until August 15

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — From modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the province of Cebu has been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions starting yesterday until Aug. 15.

Meanwhile, the government tightened the quarantine status of Aklan, Apayao and Laguna to MECQ for the same period.

Aklan and Laguna  were under GCQ with heightend restrictions, while Apayao was under GCQ before they were escalated to MECQ.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday that President Duterte approved a recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to reclassify Cebu from MECQ to GCQ with heightened restrictions.

On Friday, Duterte announced that Metro Manila would be under the strictest enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20.

The tightening of the quarantine status was meant to prevent the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID.

The Philippines yesterday logged 8,735 new COVID infections, bringing the country’s total cases to 1,597,689.

It was the third straight day that the country recorded more than 8,000 new COVID cases.

Ineligible for SAP

Meanwhile, some barangay officials and workers in different local government units (LGUs) in Cebu were among over 20,000 recipients who were found to be ineligible for the government’s emergency subsidy program or the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

A report of the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that a total of 20,327 residents from 42 LGUs including the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu were ineligible for the cash subsidy that was given to people displaced by the pandemic.

These people were either relatives of  elected and appointed government officials, private sector employees, retired individuals with pensions or members of families with independent financial capacity.

The audit body also cited duplication of SAP among family members. It said some beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, CAMP or  COVID Adjustment Measure Program and TUPAD or the Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers also received the SAP.

State auditors said three village councilmen received the subsidy even if they were ineligible.

Of the LGUs in Cebu, Mandaue City has the most number of ineligible SAP recipients with 5,827, followed by Talisay with 2,629, Balamban with 1,180, Daanbantayan with 862 and Carcarwith 564. – Caecent Magsumbol

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