President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the implementation of alert Level System in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Palace.
Duterte signed Executive Order 151 after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recommended the nationwide adoption of the system on October 28.
Under the EO, the alert system will limit lockdowns only in areas with high COVID-19 community transmission.
"The nationwide shift to the Alert Level System would allow for the reinvigoration of the economy through the opening of more sectors while protecting the people's health through the continuous observance of public health protocols and interventions and the heightened implementation of lockdowns in smaller areas, also known as granular lockdowns," the EO read.
The areas currently under the alert level system are classified under the first phase. These are Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (Calabarzon), Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Region.
"The shift to Phase 2 may begin at any time after the effectivity of this Order, as may be determined by the IATF, but not later than the end of November 2021," the EO read.
"The succeeding phases shall then commence every week thereafter untilfull nationwide implementation," it added.
Each city or municipality will be classified from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 5. It will be the Department of Health which will assign these alert level systems.
National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. expressed belief that the government’s pandemic response have been effective following a downward trend in COVID-19 cases and the reported expansion in the country’s gross domestic product.
“All along, our strategy of balanced pandemic response is right in saving lives, saving livelihood, saving our economy, and our future generation,” Galvez said, noting these positive developments are contrary to the recent rankings released by financial publications regarding the capability of nations to respond to the challenges caused by the health crisis.
He pointed out that the government’s actual performance in managing the people’s health and sustaining the economy have enabled the country’s GDP to expand by 7.1 percent in the third quarter, while the nationwide COVID-19 positivity rate is now below 5 percent, as mentioned by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.
This, despite Metro Manila and most of the economic centers being under a more restricted quarantine status for six weeks.
“The numbers don’t lie. These are recent world data that should be the basis on how we look at a country’s overall pandemic response efforts.
The main criteria, among others, should be the low number of cases and an expanding economy,” Galvez said.
The Philippines’ year-on-year GDP growth for the third quarter was above the national government’s expected outcome, as the country imposed more stringent quarantine measures during the surge in cases caused by the Delta variant.
On Thursday, the country logged 1,974 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,811,248 as all laboratories were operational, while two were not able to submit their data on time, the Department of Health said.
The DOH also reported 142 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 44,866.
The DOH also reported 2,388 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 2,737,722.
Active cases stood at 28,660, of which 62.1 percent were mild, 5.9 percent were asymptomatic, 4.4 percent were critical, 10.4 percentwere severe, and 17.15 percent were moderate.