Metro Manila and six other places will be placed under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for the month of November to help curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, President Duterte announced on Tuesday.
In a taped address aired on state television, the President explained that community quarantine measures will still be enforced not to make people’s lives “miserable” but to ensure their protection since the coronavirus is “still rising.”
“Here is the proposed community quarantine subject to appeals from the LGUs: General community quarantine from November 1 to 30: NCR (National Capital Region), gusto man talaga nila (they really want it), Batangas, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur,” he said during a meeting with some Cabinet members in Davao City Monday.
“Look, we are not here to make your life miserable or sad, we are here to make your life comfortable and to make you happy,” he said.
Duterte said the government continues to take measures to contain the spread of the virus to protect the people from getting infected.
“What’s the point of working on these figures if it does not do anything good? But if you believe, this is for your benefit. COVID is still rising. Marami pang patay (many have died),” he said.
Lanao del Sur, including Marawi City, has been under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) for the month of October.
Metro Manila and the five other areas remain under the more relaxed GCQ status until the end of the month.
The rest of the country remains under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), the least restrictive of the four lockdown levels enforced by the government to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
In his remarks, the President admitted that many mayors want to keep the community quarantine level “permanent” since the measures have slowed down the coronavirus transmission.
“They have seen the goodness of the result, na it (that it) has considerably lowered the number of people who are infected with the microbe. Gusto nila ito. Palagay ko naman, (para) sa inyong kapakanan (they want this and I think this is for your benefit),” he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the community quarantine classifications were approved by the President during the meeting.
He said the local government units have until October 28 to file an appeal before the task force.
The government had recently decided to further open up the economy and stimulate business activity and employment.
Healthcare resources have also been ramped up to help stem the outbreak even as the economy has gradually reopened.
More than 370,000 people have so far been infected with the coronavirus since the outbreak began early this year.