Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque explained that the National Capital Region (NCR) was placed under the normal general community quarantine (GCQ) because of the local government units’ (LGUs’) improvement in responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Roque made the statement after President Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to place Metro Manila back to the normal GCQ beginning July 16 until the end of the month despite seven cities in the region experiencing an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases.
In an interview on Thursday, July 15, Roque said the level of threat in Metro Manila decreased despite the reported increase in the number of infections.
“Ang tingin po natin is sa kabuuan, bagama’t meron pong seven cities na tumaas, by and large, bumaba ang threat (We think, as a whole, even if there were seven cities that reported an increase in COVID-19 cases, by and large, level of threat went down),” he told reporters in Tarlac City.
The IATF spokesman said the situation improved in terms of how LGUs handled the public health crisis.
“Tinitignan po natin yun kapasidad ng mga LGU na mag-isolate at contact tracing ratio (We are monitoring the capacity of LGUs to isolate and their contact tracing ratio),” Roque said.
“Mukhang bumubuti naman yung mga bagay na ‘yan kaya minabuti natin na mag-GCQ sa Metro Manila (We feel that those things were improving so we decided to place Metro Manila under GCQ),” he added.
Early this week, the Department of Health (DOH) said it saw an uptick in cases in Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, and San Juan.
Meanwhile, Roque explained why Iloilo City and the province of Iloilo, two of the nine areas placed under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), were only under the said classification until July 22.
“Titignan natin yung numero. Bagama’t bumaba sa MECQ, titingnan po natin kung ano ang numero pagdating po sa 22 (We’ll look at the numbers. Even though those two are now under MECQ, we will see how the numbers are by the 22nd),” he said.
“Titingnan naman natin ulit ang datos pagdating ng 22 kung dapat itaas o i-maintain (We will look at the data again on July 22 and see if we should change the classification or maintain it),” he added.
Roque said the same principle will apply to Aklan, Bacolod City, Antique, and Capiz, four areas that were placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions until July 22.