Antipolo City and the province of Rizal stay under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until September 30 while Metro Manila will be under the more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with Granular Lockdowns September 8 to 30 Malacañang announced today September 6, 2021.
Guidelines for the granular lockdowns will be released Monday or Tuesday before the shift to the new system is scheduled to take place according to Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
Metro Manila was downgraded to GCQ since it will be the pilot area for the proposed shift to Granular Lockdowns instead of 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.
Local government units will be in charge of granular lockdowns restricting the mobility of residents in a specific building, street, zone, village, and the like where there are high cases of COVID-19.
In addition to Rizal other areas under MECQ are Apayao, Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite, Lucena City, Laguna, Iloilo province, Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City.
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 and Zamboanga del Norte.
Also under GCQ are Misamis Occidental, Iligan City, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Gen. Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Aguan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
The following areas will be under GCQ “with heightened restrictions” Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Quezon, Batangas, Naga City, Antique, Bacolod City and Capiz.
Also under GCQ “with heightened restrictions” are Cebu province, Lapu-Lapu City, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao del Oro, Davao Occidental and Butuan City.
The rest of the areas in the country will be under the least restrictive modified GCQ, Roque said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said lockdowns covering a whole province or region was ineffective.
“Pinag-aralan po natin ang mga kaso natin at saka mga restrictions natin for these past weeks. Nakita po natin na ‘yung big or province-wide or region-wide na mga restrictions, mukhang hindi na effective dun sa ginagawa nating response because mobility is there already,” Vergeire said.
With this more lenient lockdown, local government units have the authority to impose the lockdowns in areas with high cases of COVID-19 to allow mobility for the peoples’ livelihood.
“Kaya mas lalo po naming ipinush na talagang kailangan siguro ay granular lockdown na lang para hindi naman tayo nagsasara nang husto at naapektuhan din po ang mga kababayan natin in terms of their livelihood,” said Vergeire.
The DOH may release the guidelines on granular lockdowns by Tuesday, Vergeire said. “Ito po ay ifa-finalize na namin ngayong hapon, kasama po ang IATF-TWG, together with MMDA, and ito po ay ipapa-apruba sa IATF officials tomorrow. So, antayin lang natin para makapagbigay kami ng full guidelines, maybe by tomorrow, dahil pag-uusapan pa po ‘yun,” Vergeire explained in a media forum on Monday.