MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet is urging local governments to shorten the curfew to 4 hours, Malacañang said Wednesday, as authorities sought to revive the pandemic-battered economy.
Duterte's full Cabinet met for the first time in 7 months on Monday to tackle economic and transportation woes the country is facing as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
"Ang desisyon po ng Gabinete, irekomenda na nga sa lahat ng mga local government units na paikliin na iyong curfew," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview on state-run PTV-4.
(The decision of the Cabinet is to recommend to all local government units to shorten the curfew.)
Asked if the curfew will be from 12 midnight to 4 a.m., Roque said: "Iyan po ay rekomendasyon ng Gabinete."
(That is the recommendation of the Cabinet.)
"Pero siyempre po dahil magpapasa sila ng ordinansa, nasa lokal na pamahalaan po iyan," he said.
(But of course because they will have to pass an ordinance, that is up to the local government.)
Most areas implement a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, he said.
The Department of Health on Tuesday reported 1,990 new coronavirus infections, the lowest number in three weeks, and 40 additional deaths.
In a bulletin, the DOH said total confirmed cases in the Philippines have risen to 344,713, the highest number in Southeast Asia, while deaths have reached 6,372.
Duterte, 75, faces the enormous task of pulling the Philippine economy, which before the coronavirus pandemic was one of Asia's fastest-growing, out of recession and creating work for millions left jobless.
The Philippines is forecast to see a 6.9 percent economic contraction this year, the World Bank has said, the biggest since the 1980s and worse than the government's projected 5.5 percent decline.
Its recovery has been constrained by an unrelenting first wave of infections since March, limiting its ability to fully reopen businesses, internal travel and restart domestic and international tourism.
— With a report from Reuters