With no appeal from LGUs, IATF makes final GCQ status for NCR, six other areas

The general community quarantine (GCQ) status of Metro Manila and six other places will remain for the month of November after no changes were made by the government pandemic task force, Malacañang announced Friday.

(Photo by Miggy Hilario / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The rest of the country will stay under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the most relaxed of the four lockdown levels, next month based on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“Nasa pinal na rin po ang ating mga quarantine classifications matapos po ang takdang panahon na binigay sa mga lokal na pamahalaan upang  mag apela (Our quarantine classifications have been finalized after the deadline given to local government units to appeal expired),” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during the Laging Handa public briefing Friday.

“Nasa ilalim po ngayon sa GCQ ang Metro Manila, ang Batangas, ang Iloilo City, ang Bacolod City, ang Tacloban City, ang Iligan City, at Lanao del Sur. Ang iba’t ibang lugar pa po ng Pilipinas na hindi nabanggit ay mapapasailalim sa MGCQ. Ibig sabihin nito, wala pong nagbago doon sa inanusyo na quarantine guidelines ng ating Presidente (Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Iligan City, and Lanao del Sur will be under GCQ. All other areas of the Philippines not mentioned will be under MGCQ. It means there is no change in the quarantine guidelines announced by the President),”  he said.

In a televised address Tuesday, President Duterte first announced the country’s quarantine status for November but clarified the classification level was subject to the appeal of concerned local government units. The local officials were given until Oct 28 to file an appeal on their lockdown level before the IATF.

After a strict lockdown in the past few months, the government has gradually eased the movement restrictions to revitalize the country’s economy weakened by the pandemic. More businesses have been allowed to open while public transportation capacity has been increased to boost economic activity. Travel restrictions have also been relaxed while shorter curfews are now implemented. 

As of October 29, the country has recorded 376,935 cases of coronavirus with 329,848 recoveries and 7,147 deaths.

Asked about the possibility of keeping the GCQ level of the capital region and other areas until December, Roque said the risk classification of a place will still depend on factors such as two-week growth rate, daily attack rate, and critical care utilization rate.

“Ang decision po ay para sa Nobyembre pa lamang dahil (The decision is only for November because) we don’t want to rule out a change in classification for December),” he said.

“Antabayanan po natin kung ano ang magiging desisyon para sa Disyembre (Let’s just wait for the decision for the month of December),” he added.

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