President Duterte will be spending his 76th birthday quietly in Davao City on Sunday, March 28, but will immediately return to Manila the following day to witness the arrival of one million CoronaVac vaccines in the country, Malacañang said.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement on the eve of President Duterte’s 76th birthday.
This is the President’s second birthday under lockdown.
In a press briefing on Saturday, Roque said that Duterte will be staying in Davao City on Sunday but will return to Malacañang on March 29 for the arrival of the first batch of Sinovac vaccines that the country has procured.
Duterte’s return to Manila on Monday marks the first day of the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, collectively known as the NCR-plus bubble, wherein mass gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
According to Roque, they have already requested the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 for an exemption to the restriction on mass gatherings for the arrival of the CoronaVac shots.
President Duterte approved placing the NCR-plus bubble, under ECQ from March 29 to April 4 due to an alarming increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
On Saturday, the Philippines recorded 9,595 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 712,442.
For the next week, only essential stores will remain open. Restaurants will be allowed to operate but for take-out and delivery services only.
Mass gatherings are likewise prohibited, including religious gatherings. To limit the movement of people, there will be a unified curfew in the NCR-plus bubble from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.