DFA consular offices in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal on skeleton force under MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2021   •   297

MANILA, Philippines — The consular offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the National Capital Region and in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will have skeleton work teams beginning Monday (April 12) for the duration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to attend to emergency or urgent cases only.

Specifically, this setup takes effect in consular offices in Metro Manila (including the Office of Consular Affairs in Aseana, Parañaque City), Antipolo, Dasmariñas, Malolos and San Pablo City.

The DFA reminds the public that passport and authentication appointments affected by the ECQ and MECQ declaration will be provided with schedules of alternative dates.

Emails will be sent to concerned passport and authentication applicants with their new appointment schedule.

Affected applicants are advised to refer to the email and the DFA’s Advisories #5 and #6 on its website to know the accommodation schedule that will be followed.

“We again advise that schedules may still be subject to change if current MECQ restrictions continue or if local governments and mall partners which host these COs implement restrictions on access,” the agency said.

The public is advised to check DFA’s website for the latest update on the schedules of consular offices.

IATF places Cagayan, Apayao, Benguet back to MECQ due to high COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Northern provinces Cagayan, Apayao, and Benguet have reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) after recording high cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The MECQ status will take effect on May 11 until May 23.

As of May 10, Cagayan has 4,657 cases followed by Benguet with 531 and Apayao with 63.

Business operations in the said areas will be limited according to the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

A liquor ban will be implemented while religious gatherings will only be allowed at 10% capacity.  Entertainment and recreational events also be suspended.

Benguet governor Melchor Diclas reported that majority of the COVID-19 cases in their area are severe. Hospitals in Benguet are also in short supply of respirators.

“Dumadami talaga ang mga pasyente natin. Marami ang namamatay at marami ang nagkakasakit ng critical at serious. Ang respirator natin may nagagamit tayong 13 na respirator. Ang bakante nalang ay dalawa,” he said.

(Our patients are increasing. Many have died and many are in critical or serious condition. We have 13 respirators but there are only two available units left.)

Hospitals in Apayao, meanwhile, are at 80% critical level.  In Cagayan Province, Governor Manuel Mamba said Tuguegarao City’s home quarantine setup is still contributing to the rising cases of COVID-19.

“Hindi magiging epektibo ang MECQ sa Tuguegarao City hangga’t may home quarantine,” he said.

(MECQ in Tuguegarao City will not be effective as long as home quarantine is being implemented .)

Mamba continues to reiterate the need to build isolation facilities in Tuguegarao to accommodate COVID-19 patients. AAC (With reports from Marvin Calas)



IATF places Cagayan, Apayao, Benguet under MECQ until May 23

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2021


MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has placed Cagayan, Apayao, and Benguet under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) amid the continuing threat of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang said on Monday.

Under IATF Resolution No. 114-C issued on May 9, the three provinces will be under MECQ from May 10 to 23.

“Upon the recommendation of the Screening and Validation Committee, Cagayan, Apayao, and Benguet shall be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine from May 10, 2021 to May 23, 2021. The risk-level classifications of the aforementioned provinces shall be without prejudice to their reclassification as may be warranted and the declaration of localized enhanced community quarantine in critical areas,” the resolution read.

Under MECQ status, non-essential travels are prohibited and non-essential services and establishments are partially shuttered.

Other areas under MECQ until May 14 include the National Capital Region, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Zamboanga City, Santiago City, Isabela, Quirino and Ifugao.

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Duterte may announce new quarantine status this week – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce this week the new community quarantine classifications to be implemented on May 15, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement when asked if the president will announce the new quarantine status when he holds his weekly public address on Monday night.

“Siguradong ia-announce niya ang bagong quarantine classifications bago mag-May 15 dahil May 14 nga yung last day,” he said during an online briefing.

The National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna – collectively tagged as NCR Plus – are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14.

Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has yet to submit to the president its recommendation on the new quarantine status.

“Tingin ko po hindi pa pupuwede kasi wala pa po yung rekomendasyon ng IATF sa kanya. Hindi pa po nagpupulong ang IATF para po sa final recommendation on quarantine classifications,” he said.

He said that based on the current data on the healthcare utilization rate and the COVID-19 situation, there is a possibility that the community quarantine status will be eased in the NCR Plus.

Roque, however, said that the decision rests with the IATF on whether or not to shift the NCR Plus to less restrictive community quarantine level.

“I will not second guess po the IATF, but pursuant to the formula, it is possible. Again, the final decision rest with the IATF,” he said.

Zamboanga City was also placed under MECQ until May 14 while Tacloban City was shifted to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until May 31.

Other areas placed under MECQ until May 31 are Santiago City, Quirino, and Abra.

The areas of Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur are under GCQ until May 31.


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