From GCQ to MECQ: Provinces appeal to IATF-EID for reclassification

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(Photo: UNTV)

Various provincial governments implored the IATF-EID to review the reclassification of their community quarantines from GCQ to MECQ beginning May 16 until May 31. These appeals were made amid concerns of the potential increase of transmission of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) when restrictions and quarantine protocols are relaxed. 

“Marami pong mga probinsya na gustong [maging under modified] ECQ although they are now classified as GCQ. Pero wala pa pong desisyon ang IATF,” Roque, spokesperson of IATF-EID, said in a television interview.

(There are provinces that want to be placed under MECQ although they are now classified as GCQ. But the IATF has no decision yet.)

The Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) on COVID-19 in Central Luzon, in its Resolution 1 dated May 13, recommended that Angeles City and the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales will instead be placed under MECQ from May 16 to 31.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the IATF-EID is set to tackle these appeals for reclassification to MECQ in a meeting on Friday afternoon. He clarified, however, that the decision will be based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in their areas as well as their capacity to address the effects of this outbreak. The IATF-EID also has to take into consideration the financial capacity of the national government to give out subsidies to poor residents in areas where the modified ECQ will be implemented.

“And there [are] also, of course, ramifications because right now, the decision of the IATF is to limit already the amount of social amelioration, the second tranche of which should be limited only to areas remaining under ECQ for the month of May. And we’re still not sure where to get the amelioration for the third tranche of assistance for areas which remain under modified ECQ,” Roque explained.

High-risk areas like Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City will be placed under MECQ from May 16 to 31. Low-risk and moderate-risk areas in the country will begin transitioning to GCQ.

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