PH economy can’t afford MECQ extension – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2020   •   180

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine economy may suffer gravely if the duration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will be extended in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a prolonged lockdown may bring negative effects especially since a big chunk of the country’s revenues comes from Metro Manila and Region IV-A.

“Tatapatin ko po kayo, di na po kaya ng ekonomiya ang mas matagalan pang lockdown. Mahirap na mahirap na po ang mangyayari kung magla-lockdown na po tayong muli,” he said.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will be under MECQ until August 18.

Roque said this is the reason why the government only implemented MECQ instead of ECQ to give medical workers a breather amid the rising cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Palace official also admitted that the government is having difficulty in looking for funds to finance the government’s assistance programs for those heavily-hit by the pandemic as a new measure appropriating the funds has yet to be passed in Congress.

“Unfortunately, kinakailangan ng bagong batas para diyan,” he said.

Roque said the Philippine Statistics Authority is expected to release this week the economic date for the second quarter which will show how the public health crisis has been affecting the Philippine economy.

“Lalabas ngayon ang pigura ng second quarter ng GDP growth natin, napakatindi po ng ibinaba ng ating ekonomiya. Kaya nga po ang aming mensahe sa ating taumbayan, kinakailangan po ingatan ang ating kalusugan para po tayo ay makapaghanapbuhay,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Iloilo City placed under MECQ from Sept. 25 until Oct. 9

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo City has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective September 25 until October 9 due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque the new measure is based on the issued Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 74 which also requires facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.

However, the resolution exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities as confirmed by the local health officer.

Another exception would be when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

On Tuesday (September 22), 33 employees of the Iloilo City Hall tested positive for COVID-19 prompting the three-day temporary closure of the establishment beginning Wednesday (September 23) as declared by Mayor Jerry Treñas in Executive Order No. 215-A.

Prior to that, 13 barangays in the city were placed under total lockdown due to the increase in community transmission of COVID-19.

Bacolod City, Lanao del Sur placed under MECQ until Sept. 30

Marje Pelayo   •   September 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (September 7) placed Bacolod City and Lanao del Sur under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from September 8 to 30.

Duterte approved the recommendation of National COVID-19 response Chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. following reported increase in number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the said areas.

“We recommended to the IATF for the upgrading of Lanao del Sur as MECQ considering it is contagious to Iligan City and its cases also rising up,” Galvez told the President during Monday’s meeting.

“Based on the recommendation of the NTF, with consultation of Bacolod City, the cases of Bacolod City are much higher than Iligan City which is also MECQ. We will recommend Bacolod City be placed under MECQ as recommended by the IATF,” he added.

Other than Bacolod City and Lanao del Sur, Iligan City is also under MECQ until September 30.

Meanwhile, the President believes that the Philippines has already flattened the curve of COVID-19 infection which he credited to the public’s obedience to health measures imposed by the government.

He, however, advised the public to remain vigilant and always adhere to health protocols to further eliminate COVID-19 transmission.

“Remember that the lessening of contamination wala na masyadong tao nagkaroon ng COVID is not because COVID-19, the germ, is gone,” he said.

“It is there floating around us. Kaya lang ang mga tao sumunod na. Hindi humawak, alcohol kaagad. The mask was one important factor,” he said.

Malacañang places all except 15 areas under MGCQ from Aug. 16 to 30

Maris Federez   •   August 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has announced the new quarantine classification that will be implemented from August 16 to 30, based on Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No.63.

In a virtual press conference on Saturday morning, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that within the said period, the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, the cities of Iloilo, Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Talisay, and the towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province will be under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The majority of the country, on the other hand, will be placed on the more relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

The Palace stressed, however, that localized and granular lockdown or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) remains in place in specific barangays, municipalities, cities, and provinces that would warrant it.

 “Maski sa mga lugar na nasa ilalim na ng GCQ at pati sa mga nasa ilalim ng MGCQ, magkakaroon pa rin po tayo ng localized ECQ. So wala po talagang katapusan ang ECQ, dahil ang atin pong ECQ ngayon ay localized or granular lockdown.”

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, in the meantime, remain under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until August 18.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the community quarantine classification for these areas on August 17.

Roque said that it will be up to the President to decide if he will keep the said areas under MECQ should the medical community request another timeout, especially with the spike of cases on Friday.

“Nasa kamay na po yan ng President. Siya po ang mag-aanunsyo sa Lunes, galing po sa Davao. Mayroon na pong rekomendasyong ibinigay ang IATF pero di po pwede nating pangunahan ang ating President.” —(with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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