Recreational venues can now reopen in areas under the most loose of four lockdown levels, the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), Malacañang said Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte has “preliminarily approved” the second strictest quarantine level in 21 areas, while Metro Manila and several other areas would be under the second loosest lockdown in the first half of July.
The rest of the country will be under MGCQ, Malacanang said.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque said: “There is a new rule. If an area is under MGCQ, recreational venues like net cafes, billiard halls, and arcades will be allowed.”
Traditional cockfights will remain banned, even in areas under the loosest lockdown, he said in a press briefing.
Restrictions in Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Rizal will include a 40-percent cap on the operations of gyms, and a 50-percent limit on indoor restaurant dining, said Roque.
Meanwhile, Laguna and Cavite’s “heightened restrictions” ban entertainment and recreational venues, amusement parks, traditional cockfights, contact and indoor sports, and indoor tourist attractions.
Services at salons, parlors and beauty clinics will be limited to 30 percent of the venue capacity in Laguna and Cavite. Indoor dining will be limited to 20 percent, which could be raised to 30 percent if an establishment has a safety seal, Roque said.
Meanwhile, Malacanang said local government units still had until Monday night to appeal the quarantine classifications that will be imposed within their jurisdictions beginning July, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“The new quarantine status is still subject to appeal until tonight. LGUs who want to make an appeal can do so,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online press briefing.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte announced in a pre-recorded Talk to the People on Monday night the recommended community quarantine classifications for the month of July.
The local government of Iloilo City said it would appeal to the national government to ease the city’s modified enhanced community quarantine status.
“We appeal for GCQ but with heightened health protocols. The reason is for businesses to slowly start to recover but still following safety standards,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas in a Facebook post.
Duterte said stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will be imposed in Cagayan, Apayao, Bataan, Lucena City, Puerto Princesa, Naga City, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, the entire Davao region, Butuan City, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao del Sur until July 15.
On the other hand, general community quarantine (GCQ) “with some restrictions” in Metro Manila, Rizal, and Bulacan, and GCQ “with heightened restrictions” in Laguna and Cavite will be until July 15.
Baguio City, Ifugao, City of Santiago, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batangas, Quezon, Guimaras, Aklan, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Antique, Capiz, Zamboanga Sibugay, City of Zamboanga, Iligan City, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Cotabato City will be placed under GCQ for the whole month of July.
The rest of the country will remain under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ).
Roque stressed Duterte would not hold a second Talk to the People this week to announce the final quarantine classification in July.
He said members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) were set to meet Wednesday to discuss the possible appeals from LGUs.
He said he might be the one to announce the final quarantine status.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has confirmed that the COVID Vaccine Express program of Vice President Leni Robredo will soon reach Mindanao, particularly in his province, Cagayan de Oro.
Rodriguez said the local officials have been working out on the implementation of the program where 20,000 drivers of tricycle, habal habal, motorcycle, jeepney and taxi and even market vendors will benefit from the vaccination drive.
He added the initial vaccination would roll out in four areas in CDO.
“We are already meeting with OVP, the consultation is ongoing and the OVP will finalize,” Rodriguez told reporters as he revealed that the program would later be renamed as “Bayanihan E-Konsulta.”
Aside from the CDO, the Office of the Vice President is also open to bringing the vaccine express in other areas in Visayas and Mindanao, including in Davao City.
Robredo’s spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez earlier said that the Vice President’s office is willing to help Davao City in its efforts against the COVID-19, but only if she will not be accused of politicking.
“Ever since the VP has been doing this. Just help. VP is game to do the same in Davao — unless she is politicized again,” said Gutierrez in his earlier statement.
There was no immediate comment from local officials in Davao City.
In related developments, the House of Representatives has so far recorded 47 ‘active’ COVID-19 cases, a House official said on Tuesday.
But House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza was quick to say that the number included individuals who were awaiting clearance for their recovery.
In April, 15 lawmakers were recorded to have been infected with COVID-19.
Aside from regular testing, the House has been implementing strict health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all the offices and buildings within the Batasan Complex.
Mendoza said the lower chamber would still implement the same health standards in the Third Regular Session.