Granular lockdowns will be imposed in Metro Manila starting Wednesday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
The lockdown, Lopez said, will be limited to few and small specific areas with high transmissions.
He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has already approved the enforcement of granular lockdowns but the guidelines are still being finalized and will be issued before Sept. 7.
“[Under granular lockdowns] other areas will allow more sector openings and capacity so that more jobs can be brought back,” Lopez said.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque, for his part, said the granular lockdown is still awaiting the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lopez said the areas need not be an entire barangay. Granular lockdowns can cover only a group of houses near each other or surrounding areas with varying levels of restrictions from Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Last month, the National Economic and Development Authority warned the economy will bleed to the tune of about P150 billion per week under the strictest Enhanced Community Quarantine.
The government earlier extended the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine status of Metro Manila until September 7.
Aside from Metro Manila, the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bataan, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Aklan and Iloilo as well as the cities of Lucena, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, Mandaue, and Cagayan de Oro would also be under MECQ from Sept. 1 to 7.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. earlier said Metro Manila mayors and the Philippine National Police are now preparing for granular lockdowns.
“The mayors are now preparing for granular lockdowns,” Abalos said.
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said he has already tasked police commanders to coordinate with local government units for the possible implementation of granular lockdowns next week.
“This is just a proposal for now but it would be better to prepare ahead to avoid confusion, which may result in misunderstanding,” Eleazar said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the government is considering granular lockdowns where only health workers will be allowed to leave their homes. Even authorized persons outside residence (APORs) will be prohibited from leaving their homes.