PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, August 31, 2020, approved the recommendation to revert Iligan City in Northern Mindanao to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) following a surge in coronavirus infections.

The National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Batangas and Bulacan will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ). Tacloban City in Leyte and Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, both of which saw a spike in new cases in the past week, will go back to GCQ. Both Leyte and Negros Occidental were recently listed by the Department of Health among the provinces with the highest number of new infections.

Cebu City, which was the first local government unit (LGU) to be reverted to tighter quarantine rules on June 15, is placed under the more relaxed modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) following the decrease in coronavirus infections.

Other areas that were under GCQ in the last two weeks will also shift to MGCQ. These are: Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion towns in Cebu, Iloilo City, Cavite, Rizal, Quezon and Nueva Ecija.

The rest of the country will be under MGCQ. These new quarantine classifications are for the entire month of September, or September 1 to September 30.

Regardless of the quarantine classification, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque stressed that everyone, except the frontliners and essential personnel, should remain “homeliners”.

“Ngayon, sa lahat po ng classification - MECQ, GCQ at MGCQ - kinakailangan homeliners po tayo. Bawal lumabas unless para po sa mga indispensable na mga pangangailangan natin o di naman po kaya, para magtrabaho do’n sa mga industriya na pinapayagan na,” Roque said.

He reiterated that those below 21 years old, the elderly, pregnant women and those with co-morbidities must stay at home.

Public transportation systems in Iligan City will again be shut down and only the businesses engaged in essential goods and services will be allowed to operate.

In areas under GCQ, public transportation systems are allowed to resume at a limited capacity of up to 50 percent. Government offices that deliver vital services are open and non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen at limited capacity.

Under MGCQ, more business sectors are allowed to reopen, but some can operate only at a limited capacity. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)