President Duterte places NCR Plus, other areas under GCQ 'heightened restrictions from May 15-31

Published May 13, 2021, 9:47 PM

by Roy Mabasa

President Duterte has placed the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to 31, 2021 following the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

President Duterte at the start of his Talk to the People on Thursday, May 13, 2021 (Richard Madelo/Presidential Photo)

Also placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions are areas under the Cordillera Administrative Region, such as Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Abra; Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Puerto Princesa in Region 4-B; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao City in Region 11; and Lanao del Sur in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Meanwhile, the City of Santiago and Quirino Province in Region 2; Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region; and Zamboanga City in Region 9 were placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from May 15 to 31, 2021.

During his Talk to the People Thursday night, the President appealed to the public to ‘forego” the holding of mass gatherings related to religious festivities especially this month of May where most of the fiestas are being held.

“I’ll be more direct than what is written here. I don’t attribute it to any particular religion or what but there are a lot of fiestas because we are predominantly Catholic country. I’m asking you not only to tone down for forego because we have laws. Forego to congregate, to crowd. There’s no problem. God’ knows we love Him but the problem is the necessary consequence of it all. Be mindful of that because we are still in the pandemic,” the President said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said other areas shall be placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) until the end of May.

Under the heightened restrictions category such as the NCR Plus, only essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus shall be allowed. Public transportation shall remain operational at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation guidelines while the use of active transportation shall be promoted.

Also, indoor dine-in services in NCR Plus shall be at 20 percent venue or seating capacity while outdoor or alfresco dining shall be at 50 percent venue or seating capacity.

Outdoor tourist attractions in the NCR Plus, on the other hand, may now operate at 30 percent with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.

Further allowed in the NCR Plus are specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT) following the minimum public health standards and implementation of protocols and restrictions as set by the DOT.

Religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 in NCR Plus shall be allowed up to 10% of the venue capacity.

Also continued to be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions are non-contact sports in outdoor contact sports, games, scrimmages; and personal care services that allow for services not requiring mask removals, such as salons, parlors, beauty clinics, and the likes at 30 percent capacity.

Those 18 to 65 years of age, can leave their places of residence in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

Meanwhile, entertainment venues, such as bars, concert halls, theaters, etc; recreational venues, such as internet cafes, billiards halls, arcades, etc; amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides; indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions; venues for meetings, conferences, exhibitions shall remain closed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

Interzonal travel from NCR Plus areas, except those conducted by Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs), shall remain prohibited in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.