MECQ vs GCQ: What’s the difference? 

Published August 3, 2020, 2:54 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

As President Duterte approved the reversion of some parts of Mega Manila to the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from the general one (GCQ), Malacañang has released anew the guidelines that should be observed during the next 15-day period, from August 4 to 18.

In this file photo taken on March 15, 2020 members of the police and the army randomly inspect vehicles at a check point coming from North Luzon Express way in Manila during the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque enumerated the guidelines after President Duterte approved the recommendation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to place Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under the MECQ. This came after medical frontliners asked for a “timeout” by placing Mega Manila back to ECQ.


Under the MECQ, everyone is required to stay at home except for those who are authorized persons outside their residence (APOR) and those who will go to work and acquire essential goods and services.

Meanwhile, the elderly and the youth, or those 60 years old and above and below 21 years old, who are considered as the vulnerable and the likely transmitters, respectively, must still stay at home under the GCQ.

Also required to stay at home under the GCQ are those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, other health risks, pregnant women, and those who are living with them. However, they may go out when needed to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices.


Limited outdoor exercises like outdoor walking, jogging, running, or biking are allowed under the MECQ as long as safety protocols like physical distancing and the wearing of face masks or face shields are observed.


Public gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people except for essential government services and humanitarian activities. 


No public transportation is allowed under the MECQ. Pillion riding, domestic flights, and inter-island travel are once again prohibited.

Private transportation utilized by an APOR will be allowed. Company shuttles are also allowed.

Shuttle services for employees and P2P transport are likewise operational but these will prioritize healthcare workers.


The following industries allowed to operate at maximum operational capacity while observing health and safety protocols:

  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
  • Manufacturing of essential goods
  • Essential Retail (e.g., groceries, markets, convenience stores, drug stores)
  • Food preparation insofar as take-out and delivery services
  • Water-Refilling Stations
  • Laundry Services (including self-service)
  • Public and private hospitals
  • Logistics Service Providers (Cargo Handling, Warehousing, Trucking)
  • Freight Forwarding, and Shipping Line)
  • Delivery and courier services, whether in-house or outsourced transporting food, medicine, or other essential maximum operating hours allowed goods
  • Water supply and sanitation services and facilities
  • Repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Energy and power companies
  • Gasoline Stations
  • Airline and aircraft maintenance, pilots and crew, and employees of aviation schools for purposes of the pilot’s recurrent training
  • Public and private construction projects that are essential
  • Manufacturing companies and suppliers of equipment or products necessary to perform construction works, such as cement and steel
  • BPO and Export-oriented companies, including mining and quarrying
  • Printing presses authorized by the BIR or other appropriate agencies to print official receipts and other accountable forms
  • Media Establishments
  • Mining and Quarrying
  • Electronic commerce companies
  • Postal, courier and delivery services for articles
  • Housing service activities, such as but not limited to plumbing, roofing, and electrical works
  • Veterinary Activities
  • Security and Investigation Activities
  • Funeral and embalming services
  • Banks, money transfer services, pawnshops, microfinance institutions, and credit cooperatives
  • Capital Markets
  • Rental and Leasing Activities, other than real estate
  • Employment Activities that involve recruitment and placement for permitted sectors.

Allowed to operate at 50 percent on-site capacity are:

  • Other Manufacturing – Beverages, Electrical Machinery, Wood products, furniture, Non-metallic product, textiles, tobacco, paper, rubber
  • Real estate activities (including parking space leasing companies)
    Office Administrative and Office Support
  • Other financial services (e.g., money exchange, insurance, reinsurance, lending, and non-compulsory pension funding)
  • Legal and Accounting
  • Management Consultancy Activities
  • Architecture, Engineering Activities; Technical Testing Analysis
    Scientific and Research Development
  • Computer programming
  • Publishing and printing services
  • Film, music, and TV production
  • Recruitment and placement agencies for overseas employment
    Other services such as photography services; fashion, ID
  • Wholesale & retail trade of motor vehicles, motorcycles, bikes
  • Repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles
  • Dining/Restaurants but for delivery and take out only
  • Malls and commercial centers (non-leisure only)