President Duterte goes home to Davao as Metro Manila eases lockdown restrictions

Maris Federez   •   May 16, 2020   •   405

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte returned to his hometown of Davao City on Saturday.

This, as Metro Manila eases from the COVID-19 lockdown after it was shifted into a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

It is the first time that the President has returned home since he ordered the implementation of a lockdown in March which suspended transportation and restricted the public’s movement in Luzon.

Presidential Security Group chief Col. Jesus Durante III, in an interview, also confirmed that President Duterte took the flight at past midnight, arriving in Davao City early Saturday.

“He is in Davao after more than 2 months of not being able to see his family,” Durante said.

Durante assured that the chief executive will join the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) meeting next week. — /mbmf

IATF includes Central Visayas, Zambo City in areas under GCQ come June 1

Maris Federez   •   May 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has added several provinces and cities to the list of areas that will be placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to 15.

This, after several local government executives made their appeal to the IATF-MEID to reclassify the community quarantine status of their respective areas.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Region 7 or the Central Visayas, including Cebu City and Mandaue City, and the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao are now among the areas that will be under the GCQ come Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday initially announced that the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions II, III, and IV, the province of Pangasinan and the city of Davao are placed under GCQ.

The rest of the areas that the chief executive did not mention will be placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting next month.

Under the GCQ, more economic sectors will be able to resume operation, while those that will be under the MGCQ will transition to the “new normal” way of living.

Meanwhile, the Malacañang assured that the IATF is now finding ways on how the public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will be able to resume operation while maintaining social distancing and health protocols, as more industries will reopen by Monday.

Roque said that as reported by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the resumption of operations of mass transportation in the NCR will be done in phases.

Pasensya na po sa ating mga kapatid na namamasada ng mga jeepney, pero pinag-aaralan pa po kung papaano magkakaroon ng social distancing sa ating mga jeepney. Bagaman mayroon na po tayong bahagyang pagbukas o pagpayag sa mga pampublikong transportasyon, ang pangunahing guidelines po diyan social distancing,” Roque said.

[I beg the indulgence of our jeepney drivers, but maintaining social distancing inside the jeepneys is still being determined. Although we have already started to open our public transportation, the primary guidelines to be considered in it is social distancing.] —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

Metro Manila to likely transition to GCQ after May 31 —Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2020

Metro Manila has a possibility to transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) after May 31, according to the Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is a chance that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions might ease in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) held a meeting on Wednesday (May 27) to determine if the MECQ should continue after May 31.

“Chances are we will, in fact, be transitioning to GCQ in Metro Manila, according to the chief implementer and the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] Secretary,” Roque said in a statement.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) is also recommending to the IATF to put the National Capital Region under GCQ.

Once Metro Manila transitioned to GCQ, Roque said public transportation will resume operations but will have limited capacity.

He also appealed to the private and public sectors to finalize their work scheme where 50% will resume in worksites and 50% will work from home.

“We are appealing to both private and public sectors to ensure at least 50-50 workforce,” he said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Checkpoints at curfew, hindi aalisin kahit ilagay sa GCQ ang Metro Manila at iba pang lugar sa bansa – Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Tuloy pa rin ang pagpapatupad ng quarantine control points ng Philippine National Police kahit pa ilagay na sa general community quarantine (GCQ) ang mga lugar na kasalukuyang nasa ilalim ng modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Ayon kay Joint Task Force Coronavirus (JTF CV) Shield Commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, dapat pa ngang paigtingin ang pagsasagawa ng checkpoint dahil tiyak na dadagsa ang mga tao sa lansangan kapag niluwagan na ang quarantine restrictions.

Ani Eleazar, nasa diskresyon ng mga hepe ng local police kung ililipat nila ang checkpoint o kaya ay magpatupad na lamang ng random checkpoint sa matataong lugar.

“Hindi natin kayang i-inspect lahat ng mga sasakyan sa kalsada kagaya ng ginawa natin during ECQ… It will create a monstrous traffic kung lahat ng sasakyan ay ating i-che-check,” ani ng opisyal.

“Kaya nga through modified checkpoint, random ang gagawin natin d’yan, depende sa discretion at peculiarity ng mga lugar kung saan nagsasagawa ng checkpoint,” dagdag pa niya.

Paliwanag ni Eleazar, bahagi ng PNP anti-criminality campaign ang checkpoint kaya hindi ito maaaring alisin.

Isa ang Metro Manila sa mga lugar na isinailalim sa MECQ hanggang Mayo 31.

Una nang napaulat na inirerekomenda na ng Metro Manila mayors na ilagay na sa GCQ ang Metro Manila simula sa Hunyo.

Ang Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases naman ay isinusulong ang pagpapatupad ng localized lockdown o quarantine sa mga barangay o bayan lang na may mataas na kaso ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

dahil sa posibleng pagluluwag ng quarantine restrictions, sinabi ni Eleazar na mas hihigpitan nila ang pagsasagawa ng inspeksyon sa mga establisimiyento upang masigurong naipatutupad ng maayos ang minimum health protocols na inilatag ng Department of Health.

“Dapat nga na magsagawa ng maraming inspection kasi doon natin makikita ngayon kung andon ba yung pagsunod sa mga protocols set by DOH,” sabi ng opisyal.

“Sa pakikipag-ugnayan at sa tulong nitong mga mall management and security officers nila ay makapagsasagawa tayo ng tamang implementasyon ng mga guidelines na ito,” dagdag pa niya.

Palalakasin din nila ang mobile checkpoint na isinasagawa ng mga tauhan ng PNP Highway Patrol Group.

“Ito ang magsasagawa ng Oplan Sita at Oplan Habol at magsasagawa ng mga spot inspection,” ani Eleazar.

Sinabi rin ng opisyal na tuloy pa rin ang pagpapatupad ng curfew sa ilalim ng GCQ ngunit hindi na hahanapan ng quarantine pass ang mga lumalabas ng kanilang tahanan.

“Mandated sa lahat ng mga quarantine status na meron pa rin tayong curfew sa mga non-workers sa gabi,” paliwanag niya.

Sa halip, mas hihigpitan ng pulisya ang pagbabantay sa pagsusuot ng face mask at pagpapatupad ng physical distancing measures kontra COVID-19. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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