Duterte yet to approve pilot granular lockdowns in NCR

Published September 5, 2021, 11:54 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said President Duterte has yet to give the go-signal for the pilot implementation of the granular lockdown in Metro Manila as its current quarantine classification expires on September 7.

Members of the Philippine National Police man a checkpoint in a barangay in Sampaloc, Manila after it was placed under lockdown on March 17, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the implementation of granular lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR) starting September 8.

In a text message, Roque said the new IATF policy was yet to get the green light from the President.

“New quarantine responses still for approval of PRRD (President Duterte),” he said Sunday morning, September 5.

If approved, the new granular lockdown system in NCR will take effect on September 8, a day after the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification of NCR expires.

According to Lopez, the rest of the country will still follow the usual community quarantine classifications.

Under the new system, only areas considered as hot spots will be placed under lockdown while other areas will be allowed to open.

The government is still to fine-tune the guidelines but Lopez said this will be issued before September 7.

Malacañang said the government’s pandemic task force was now “moving towards” the direction of granular or localized lockdowns as these were more effective compared to the regular quarantine classifications that the public has grown accustomed to.

Last month, Roque said experts thought that a different tactic in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic was already necessary since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) risk classification seemed to be no longer working.