THE Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has agreed to place the entire Philippines under the most lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by March, Malacañang said on Friday.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the IATF decided on the proposed shift to MGCQ status during their meeting on Thursday.
“Nagkasundo na ‘yung IATF na nagrekomenda sa ating Presidente na magkaroon na ng MGCQ sa buong Pilipinas at ang mga alkalde sa Metro Manila (IATF and Metro Manila mayors have already agreed on the proposal to shift the country to MGCQ),” Roque said during an interview with state-run PTV-4.
“So inaasahan naman natin dahil mayroon nang ganitong kasunduan sa panig ng IATF at Metro Manila mayors ay baka naman po sumang-ayon na ang Presidente (With this development, we are expecting that the President will also approve of this proposal from both the IATF and Metro Manila Mayors),” he added.
Roque, who is also the spokesman of the IATF, said he might announce the President’s decision on the transition to MGCQ before the end of February.
“Magkakaroon po ng desisyon ang ating Presidente nitong Lunes, bagamat ito ay ianunsyo ko bago matapos ang buwan ng Pebrero (The President will have a decision next Monday, and I may announce it before the end of February),” he said.
Roque made the announcement after Metro Manila mayors proposed the transition to MGCQ by March following their meeting on Wednesday night.
National Economic and Development Authority chief Karl Chua has recommended to the President to place the country under MGCQ to mitigate poverty and income loss amid the pandemic.
In a report to Duterte on Monday, Chua said the quarantine restrictions led to losing P2.8 billion in salaries or an annual income loss of P23,000 per employee in 2020.
For the month of February, Metro Manila, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, has been under general community quarantine (GCQ) since August last year.
Other areas under GCQ are Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao del Norte, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur.
The rest of the country has stayed under the least restrictive MGCQ this month.
Current community quarantine classifications are set to lapse after February 28.
As of Monday, the country has over 550,000 cases of the coronavirus. Over 510,000 have recovered, while more than 11,000 have died from the disease.