New COVID-19 response scheme's success 'up to LGUs', says Palace

Malacañang believes that the new coronavirus (COVID-19) alert levels systems scheme to be implemented in Metro Manila will work but its success will depend on the local government units (LGUs) that will implement the granular lockdowns.

file photo: Ali Vicoy

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the government's pandemic task force "provisionally approved" the guidelines on the pilot implementation of the new alert levels system in the National Capital Region (NCR) that is targeted on September 16 to 30, 2021.

In his press briefing on Friday, September 10, Roque said the new scheme can work if the guidelines will be religiously followed and implemented.

"Itong bagong policy shift po, tingin ko po gagana 'to kung pagsasabayin natin ang pagbabawal sa 3Cs at tsaka yung istriktong granular lockdown (I think this policy shift will work if we will do both the prohibition of the 3Cs and the implementation of strict granular lockdown)," he said.

3Cs are the new classifications of industries or activities that will be allowed to operate under the new scheme. The term refers to closed, crowded, and close contact industries, activities, or establishments.

However, he said the success of the new scheme will rely on the LGUs that will implement it.

"Talagang ang tagumpay po nito ay nakasalalay sa mga lokal na pamahalaan (The success of the new response system depends on the LGUs)," Roque said.

"Itong granular lockdown naman, dati nang ginagawa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan-- pinapaigting lang talaga natin (The LGUs have been implementing granular lockdowns. We just intensified it)," he added.

According to Roque, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is still determining if it should place the entire NCR under Alert Level 4, the strictest of the four alert levels wherein the 3Cs will be prohibited.

He added that it is also studying giving perks to the vaccinated population like limited dine-in or al fresco services.

"Mainit po ang debate diyan at hayaan po nating umusad ang proseso ng debate (There is still a heated debate about this and let's just allow members of the IATF to do that)," Roque said.

Under the new scheme, only health and allied health professionals will be considered as authorized persons outside of residence (APORs). Outbound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and those returning and have completed facility-based quarantine upon arrival, and those in emergency situations will be allowed movement.

Households within areas under granular lockdown restrictions or families in isolation shall be provided assistance by their respective local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall ensure the transit of goods remain unimpeded and that the destination is not covered by granular lockdowns.

The operational capacity of the 3Cs will also change depending on an area's alert level:

  • Alert 4: 3C activities are not allowed
  • Alert 3: 3C activities are allowed at 30 percent
  • Alert 2: 3C activities are allowed at 50 percent
  • Alert 1: Full capacity with minimum public health standards