TRUE enough, President Rodrigo Duterte is not bent on easing restrictions on a national scale as the National Capital Region (NCR) and nine other areas have been classified under the general community quarantine (GCQ) starting March 1.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that aside from the NCR, other areas under GCQ are Apayao, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City Lanao del Sur and Davao City.
The community quarantine classification is effective for one whole month.
Except for Metro Manila, Baguio City and Davao City which have been under GCQ prior to the announcement, other areas in the latest list have been reverted to the third most stringent level of restriction.
Duterte earlier threw out the proposal of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) recommending to place the entire Philippines under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) starting March 1 to balance the country’s response to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the need of Filipinos to start earning and spending.
Duterte’s reason for junking the NEDA recommendation – the need to give more premium on public health and safety over the economy.