President Rodrigo Duterte is likely to approve the proposal to place the entire Philippines under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting March 1, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday.
“Nagkasundo na rin po ang mga alkalde at ang IATF na mag-MGCQ by March 1 kaya baka sumang-ayon na rin ang ating Presidente,” Roque said on state-run PTV-4.
(The mayors and the IATF have also agreed to impose the MGCQ by March 1 so our President may also agree.)
On February 17, nine out of 17 Metro Manila mayors agreed to place the region under MGCQ by March 1 upon the recommendations of economic managers.
The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) also expressed its support for the proposal of placing the entire country under MGCQ starting March.
However, the governors want the national government to authorize them to change quarantine status or impose lockdowns if needed.
Roque also said the IATF has amended the Omnibus Guidelines on mass gatherings under GCQ.
Duterte likely to place entire PH under MGCQ by March 1 – Palace
However, he clarified that the eased restrictions do no include lowering of the age bracket that would be allowed to leave their homes.
“Hindi pa po covered yung mga 5 to 75 [age bracket]. Pero ang [IATF] Resolution na ‘yun eh para maging uniform lang kung ano ‘yung industriyang bukas dahil alam natin at inaasahan natin na mag MGCQ na ang Metro Manila at ang buong Pilipinas,” Roque said.
“Ibig sabihin aalisin na natin yung mga special na mga rules para sa Metro Manila at mga ibang lugar na GCQ. Isahang rules na lang ngayon. Kung ano ang pinapayagang magbukas sa MGCQ, eh siyempre ‘yan na po yung pupuwedeng magbukas, kasama po diyan yung religious gatherings at 50%, yung mga sinehan at subject dun sa capacity na sasabihin ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan, yung mga parks, amusement parks,” he added.
Roque said Duterte is expected to make a decision by February 22 but the announcement would be made before the end of the month.
The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Philippines warned against the recommendation to place the entire country under the modified general quarantine, noting the likely COVID-19 surge due to the increasing cases of UK variant and the vaccination has not started yet.