Leyte keeps MGCQ status for January

Published January 7, 2021, 1:42 PM

by Restituto Cayubit

PALO, Leyte – The province of Leyte has maintained its modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status for January, a report from the office of the governor said.

Leyte. Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla told reporters that the province was not included in the areas placed under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) classification by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in January.

President Duterte in his announcement last December 28, 2020 retained the National Capital Region (NCR) and Davao City under the GCQ classification including Santiago City, Isabela, Iloilo City, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur, and Davao del Norte until until January 31, 2021. 

Tacloban City, the capital of Leyte, being a highly urbanized city, is not under the administrative jurisdiction of Leyte province.

Petilla clarified that the MGCQ status of the province “may be shortened or extended depending on the recommendation of the Provincial IATF COVID-19, without prejudice to declaration of localized Enhanced Community Quarantine in local areas.” 

He said protocols being implemented under MGCQ will continue to be in effect. The province of Leyte was also placed under MGCQ in December, 2020..

However, the town of Abuyog was placed under the GCQ status by its Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force (MIATF) due to the surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya has ordered the temporary closure of business establishments where people converge like beach resorts, springs, billiard houses, starting Friday, January 8.

Petilla said the mechanisms that had been put in place by local government authorities will ensure that economic activities will not be hampered in the continuing fight against COVID-19.

He added that the less stringent quarantine measures will allow the unhampered delivery of goods and services to the public, particularly agricultural produce to the market or consumers.

Petilla said the carnivals, concerts, sports tournaments, trade fairs, fiestas, theaters, cultural shows, clubs, religious activities, retreats, and workshops and other business gatherings including conventions and conferences that gather people are prohibited.

Business establishments may continue with their operations on conditions that they will comply with the requirements as stipulated in the health protocols. Public utility vehicles (PUVs) owners or operators should comply with the safety measures and standards required by the Department of Transportation, Petilla said.

Petilla clarified however that any business establishment has the right to reject any customer who is exhibiting influenza-like symptoms or for not wearing a face mask and face shield. PUV drivers may also refuse a passenger a ride if he or she is not wearing a face mask and face shield.

The prohibition still remains on the entry of all persons to the province from other places either by sea, land, or air except for locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipino workers. who are required to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.

Petilla said workers in essential business establishments and industries, uniformed personnel, authorized persons outside residence (APOR) or health and emergency front-liners, accredited construction workers and delivery personnel of cargo vehicles, and those traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons are exempted from the restrictions.