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Metro Manila to be under GCQ from Sept. 8-30, to pilot shift to granular lockdowns

Metro Manila to be under GCQ from Sept. 8-30, to pilot shift to granular lockdowns

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila will be placed under a less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) starting Wednesday, September 8 until the 30th, Malacañang announced Monday.

This is a downgrade from the current modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification over the region.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque explained that Metro Manila was downgraded to GCQ classification since it will be piloting the proposed shift to granular lockdowns as opposed to region-wide restrictions.

“Magpapilot dito sa Metro Manila. Ito ‘yung tinatawag natin sa mga localized lockdowns. Maglalabas ang IATF ng guidelines for pilot areas kung hindi mamaya ay bukas sa ating briefing,” he said.

(The localized lockdowns will be piloted here in Metro Manila. The IATF will release guidelines for pilot areas maybe later or tomorrow.)

The GCQ classification of Metro Manila, Roque said, will be different from previous GCQ implementations with the piloting of the granular lockdowns.

Under granular lockdowns, the local government units only restrict the mobility of residents in a specific building, street, zone, village, and the like where there are high cases of COVID-19.

Other areas under GCQ are:

  • Baguio City
  • Kalinga
  • Abra
  • Benguet
  • Dagupan City
  • City of Santiago
  • Quirino
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Tarlac
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Puerto Princesa
  • Aklan
  • Guimaras
  • Negros Occidental
  • Cebu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Zamboanga City
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Iligan City
  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao del Sur
  • Gen. Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Sarangani
  • North Cotabato
  • South Cotabato
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Surigao del Sur

Meanwhile, 10 areas will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) including:

  • Apayao
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Cavite
  • Lucena City
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • Iloilo province
  • Iloilo City
  • Cagayan de Oro City

The following areas will be under GCQ “with heightened restrictions”:

  • Ilocos Sur
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Cagayan
  • Pangasinan
  • Quezon
  • Batangas
  • Naga City
  • Antique
  • Bacolod City
  • Capiz
  • Cebu province
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Negros Oriental
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Davao City
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao del Oro
  • Davao Occidental
  • Butuan City

The rest of the areas in the country will be under the least restrictive modified GCQ, Roque said.

The government’s pandemic task force eyed the shift to granular lockdowns instead of community restrictions in a bid to further stem the spread of COVID-19.

The Octa research group has expressed concern over the proposed granular lockdowns, pointing out that the country may “lose effective control of the pandemic,” as localized lockdowns may only work in a smaller scale setup and but not in areas where there is a surge in cases.

Vice President Leni Robredo also said granular lockdowns must come with COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and aid for it to be effective.

By: Daphne Galvez – Reporter / @DYGalvezINQINQUIRER.net / 12:42 PM September 06, 2021