MANILA - Metro Manila's 12 million people will be under general community quarantine in November, along with several other areas, Malacañang said Friday, despite the appeal of some local governments.
Some local officials had appealed against the initial lockdown classifications that President Rodrigo Duterte announced Monday, said the interior department. The inter-agency task force leading the pandemic response met on this on Thursday.
"Wala pong nagbago doon sa naanunsyo na quarantine guidelines ng ating Presidente," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
(Nothing changed in the quarantine guidelines announced by our President.)
This means that the following areas are under GCQ next month, he said.
- Metro Manila
- Iloilo City
- Bacolod City
- Tacloban City
- Iligan City
- Lanao del Sur
The rest of the country is under modified GCQ, the least stringent of 4 lockdown levels, said Roque.
Mayors of Metro Manila had urged Duterte to keep until Nov. 30 the GCQ status over the region that accounts for about a third of the country's gross domestic product.
"Ang gusto ng karamihan (The majority wants to), make it permanent because they have seen the goodness of the result. It has considerably lowered the number of people infected with the microbe," the President said in a taped speech aired Tuesday.
"Palagay ko naman, sa inyo rin itong kapakanan (I think it's for your welfare). Look, we are not here to make your life miserable or sad. We are here to make your life comfortable, and to make you happy," he added.
The trade department recently allowed some businesses in GCQ areas to operate at full capacity.
The Philippines is forecast to see a 6.9 percent economic contraction this year, the World Bank had 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, and restart domestic and international tourism.
The health department on Thursday recorded 1,761 new coronavirus infections and 33 more deaths. In a bulletin, the agency said total confirmed infections had risen to 376,935, while deaths had reached 7,147.
New COVID-19 cases in the Philippines increased by fewer than 2,000 in 7 of the last 10 days. - With a report from Reuters