MANILA (UPDATED) — Metro Manila and surrounding Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) "with restrictions" until the middle of June, Malacañang said on Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte was first to announce in a taped speech that NCR Plus would be under GCQ with "restrictions." A graph during his speech showed "GCQ (June 1 to 30)."
"Itong restriction, ito 'yong limited number of persons magkain. Whenever there is a grouping of human beings, talaga susundin n'yo social distancing, lahat na," he said.
(This restriction, this the limited number of persons eating. Whenever there is a grouping of human beings, you will really follow social distancing, everything.)
However, a statement from his spokesman Harry Roque stated that the GCQ with restriction would be in place "starting June 1 until June 15, 2021."
He said restrictions "shall still be in place in NCR Plus limiting the capacities of certain industries."
Asked to clarify if the quarantine level would be in place until the middle of June—because Duterte's slideshow states June 30—Roque said in a text message, "No 30th."
However, an official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office pointed out that there was an asterisk beside the NCR Plus quarantine level in the slideshow, which supposedly meant that the GCQ with restrictions is only until the 15th.
Roque, in a later text message, clarified that the area's GCQ with restrictions is set until "June 15."
NCR Plus was under GCQ with "heightened restrictions" until May 31.
The congested capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities and a municipality, account for about two-thirds of the country's gross domestic product.
Extended coronavirus curbs will continue to hurt the Philippines' economy, which posted a record 9.6 percent slump last year.
QUARANTINE IN REST OF PH
Duterte said the following areas would be under modified enhanced community quarantine from June 1 to 15, the second toughest lockdown level.
- Region 2
- Cordillera Administrative Region
- Region 4-B
- Region 6
- Region 9
-Zamboanga del Sur
-Zamboanga del Norte
- Region 10
-Cagayan de Oro City
Meanwhile, the following areas will be under GCQ, the second loosest quarantine level from June 1 to 30.
Cordillera Administrative Region
- Baguio City
- Mountain Province
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Lanao del Sur
- Cotabato City
The rest of the Philippines will be under the least stringent quarantine level, modified GCQ, during the whole of June, said Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque.
The Philippines, which has the second-highest COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, has tallied 1,230,301 coronavirus infections.
Active cases in the country hit 54,290, while deaths reached 20,860, as of May 31, according to the health department.
The Philippines has so far been able to administer at least 5.180 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Tuesday.
The government aims to vaccinate at least 58 million of its 108 million population to achieve "population protection" and safely reopen the economy.
— With a report from Reuters