MANILA - The government's chief implementer of the Philippines' COVID-19 response said Sunday authorities will consider different options per area once the Luzon-wide lockdown, imposed more than a month ago to curb the spread of the pandemic, ends on April 30.
Secretary Carlito Galvez of the National Task Force on COVID-19 told ANC that the government is continuously consulting different sectors for possible options.
"Very careful kami talaga na yung ire-recommend namin kay Presidente, alam kung ano yung magiging trade-offs and also yung consequences for every options that we will do," he said.
"Sa ngayon, tiningnan natin, kunyari, may options na pwede natin i-extend (for) another 15 days in certain areas."
"Meron din possibility na yung ibang nakikita nating maganda ang nangyayari, na medyo nawawala ang threat, medyo nami-minimize nila and we have seen na yung mga LGU (local government unit) kayang-kaya nila, we can lift in some areas."
According to Galvez, the task force will lay down conditions and courses of action for every scenario, noting that the crisis is both a health and a humanitarian issue.
He said the task force is mindful of the impact of the lockdown to the economy, the peace and order situation, and even on the "psychological mind of our people."
He said that in some areas were the spread of the disease is high, modified or selective quarantine measures may be imposed.
It may also be "less restrictive" in other areas.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the inter-agency body handling the COVID-19 may submit its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte on April 25.
Speaking in a separate ANC interview, Año ruled out a “total lockdown for the entire country" and added that government will not implement martial law.
Instead, a “martial law-style” implementation of the quarantine measures may be done in severely-affected areas where there are rampant violations, he said.
Echoing Año's remarks, Galvez said the presence of uniformed personnel in some areas may be needed to enforce quarantine measures.
"Nakikita natin sa ibang lugar pag may military at pulis sumusunod," he said.
Metro Manila and the entire Luzon, home to about half of the country's 100 million people, is under lockdown until April 30 to contain the pandemic.
As of Saturday, the Philippines has recorded 6,087 cases of COVID-19, with 516 recoveries and 397 deaths.