NCR remains under GCQ with heightened restrictions until August 15

Marje Pelayo   •   July 29, 2021   •   426

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the extension of general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) until August 15, 2021.

The approval was based on the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) given the current COVID-19 situation in the country.

“Ginusto man niyo o hindi kailangan  itong ganitong patakaran for you to survive; para mabuhay kayo. As shown with what is happening in other countries, there is really a pandemic in the true sense of the word in Indonesia, India and Thailand,” the President said during the televised meeting on Wednesday (July 28).

The following quarantine classifications take effect in the following areas:

Enhanced Community Quarantine (August 1 – August 7)
Iloilo City
Cagayan de Oro
Gingoog City

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (August 1 – August 15)
Ilocos Norte
Bataan
Lapu-Lapu City
Mandaue City

General Community Quarantine  with heightened restrictions (August 1- August 15)
National Capital Region
Ilocos Sur
Cagayan
Bulacan
Laguna
Lucena city
Cavite
Rizal
Naga City
Antique
Aklan
Bacolod City
Capiz
Negros oriental
Zamboanga del sur
Misamis Oriental
Davao City
Davao del Norte
Davao de Oro
Davao Occidental
Butuan City

General Community Quarantine  (August 1 – August 31)
Baguio City
Apayao
City of Santiago, Isabela
Nueva Vizcaya
Quirino
Quezon
Batangas
Puerto princesa
Guimaras
Negors occidental
Zamboanga Del Norte
Zamboanga Sibugay
City of Zamboanga
Davao Oriental
Davao Del Sur
General Santos City
Sultan Kudarat
Sarangani
North cotabato
South cotabato
Caraga
Agusan del norte
Surigao del norte
Agusan del sur
Dinagat islands
Surigao del sur
BARMM
Cotabato

Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ)
The rest of the country

Duterte orders SolGen to ask COA to audit PH Red Cross

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida to write to Commission on Audit (COA) chair Michael Aguinaldo requesting an audit of the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) financial records.

“I am ordering SolGen, si Calida, to write [COA chief] Aguinaldo a letter. Ask Aguinaldo to immediately conduct an audit diyan sa Red Cross. Ang hinihintay ko lang, the next step would really be the letter to be delivered by COA,” the President said during his pre-taped public address aired on Thursday (September 16).

The PRC is led by Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon committee that is investigating the government’s use of pandemic funds.

The Chief Executive once again slammed  Gordon for the latter’s Senate probe into the government’s purchase of alleged overpriced medical goods last year.

Duterte had previously accused Gordon of using the PRC as his ‘milking cow’ in his previous election campaigns which led to a call for an audit of the humanitarian organization.

NCR police to assist LGUs in pilot implementation of new quarantine alert levels system — Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Police commanders in the National Capital Region (NCR) will assist in the pilot implementation of the quarantine alert levels system that is set to start on Sept. 16, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said Tuesday.

In a statement, Eleazar said the NCR police will particularly help in the information dissemination on the new guidelines on quarantine alert levels system and in coming up with strategic enforcement and deployment in coordination with the local government units.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Monday night released the guidelines for the system, which aims to prevent the further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the continuous rise in cases.

“Sa paglabas ng mga alituntunin ng quarantine alert level system, inatasan ko na ang ating mga police commanders sa Metro Manila na pag-aralang mabuti at patuloy na makipag-ugnayan sa mga LGUs para sa strategic deployment at enforcement para sa maayos na pagpapatupad ng mga ito,” Eleazar said.

The PNP chief said police commanders should prevent confusion in the implementation of the rules, which sometimes lead to unnecessary arguments and confrontations with the public.

Under the guidelines, the alert levels system will cover cities or municipalities, which will be classified under Alert Level 1 to Level 5. The alert levels per area will be determined by the Department of Health depending on the COVID-19 incidence rate.

The granular lockdowns, on the other hand, are the critical zones that will be declared by the local government unit.

“Aktibong makikibahagi ang inyong PNP sa enforcement at information dissemination sa guidelines na ito, na ang ibig sabihin din ay kailangang sumunod din ang kapulisan sa mga alituntuning ito,” Eleazar said.

He reminded police officers to observe maximum tolerance, impose only what is only stated in the guidelines, and never punish violators.

Eleazar also reiterated his appeal to the public to cooperate with authorities and to follow the guidelines.

“Hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan sa Metro Manila na alamin ang mga patakarang ito dahil ang pagsasa-puso sa pagsunod ng mga alituntuning ito ay isang mabisang sandata hindi lamang para proteksyunan ang inyong sarili kundi pati na rin sa patuloy na pagkalat ng COVID-19,” Eleazar said.

Sec. Año supports a more relaxed quarantine restriction in Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Eduardo Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is still studying whether or not to implement a more relaxed restriction in the National Capital Region (NCR) without discriminating against those who are not yet vaccinated.

Año, however, indicated that he is more inclined to favor downgrading the restriction in the capital saying it is about time.

“In Metro Manila, I will give my all honest opinion with the high percentage of vaccination, it’s about time to really give some additional privilege to the vaccinated. It will also encourage other people to be vaccinated,” he said.

Among those who support the relaxation of quarantine restrictions is Go Negosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

He said that a more relaxed restriction should now be imposed in areas where the majority of the population is already vaccinated such as in the NCR.

“I think we should move forward and really test it because how do you live with COVID if even the vaccinated will not be allowed movement,” Concepcion said.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) said it agrees with Concepcion and even released a resolution to urge the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to approve such proposal although the mayors support the strict implementation of the health and safety protocol to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“It means that we are one with the call of Mr. Concepcion or even of the businessmen to urge IATF to consider the easing of the guidelines; however, it is subject to the study of interdisciplinary,” said MMC and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority concurrent chairman Benhur Abalos.

At present, over 50% of the NCR’s population are fully vaccinated, 80% if to include those who received their first dose.

The IATF is now finalizing the guidelines for the new quarantine classifications using the new alert level system. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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