A year of lockdown: NCR, 9 others to remain under GCQ in March

As the country marks its first year under lockdown, Metro Manila and nine other areas in the Philippines are set to remain under the general community quarantine (GCQ) for another 31 days, Malacañang announced Saturday morning.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the announcement over State-run PTV-4 a day before the existing quarantine classifications lapse on February 28.

The following areas will be placed under GCQ for the month of March:

  • National Capital Region (NCR)
  • Apayao
  • Baguio City
  • Kalinga
  • Mt. Province
  • Batangas
  • Tacloban City
  • Iligan City
  • Davao City
  • Lanao del Sur

Meanwhile, the rest of the country will be under the less strict modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Roque's announcement on the new quarantine classifications came after President Duterte thumbed down the proposal to place the entire country MGCQ until the government's vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) started.

"President Duterte gave his directive to the Cabinet that the Philippines would not be placed under MGCQ unless there is a rollout of vaccines," he said.

"The Chief Executive recognizes the importance of re-opening the economy and its impact on people's livelihoods. However, the President gives higher premium to public health and safety," he added.
The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the mayors of Metro Manila had agreed to place the entire country under MGCQ in an effort to revive the economy.

Early this week, Roque expressed confidence that the entire country was ready to shift to MGCQ.