NCR stays under alert level 3; pilot areas for alert level system expanded

Published October 29, 2021, 1:42 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has decided to maintain the alert level classification of the National Capital Region (NCR) to alert level 3 for the first two weeks of November.

(Ali Vicoy/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed in a virtual press conference Friday, Oct. 29 that the decision was reached during the IATF’s meeting Thursday via Resolution No. 146-A.

This came about despite high expectations from the private sector and even the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)–which touches base with the different local government units (LGUs) of the country–that the alert level in Metro Manila would be downgraded to alert level 2.

The government’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic task force approved the recommendation to further expand the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System (ALS) during the time period.

Covered in the ALS pilot expansion for the period of Nov. 1 to 14 are Regions 3, 6, and 10, and Baguio City as an area for special monitoring.

Roque, who also serves as IATF spokesperson, said the following provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities shall be placed under the following alert levels:

Aurora, Bacolod City, Negros Oriental, and Davao Occidental shall be placed under alert level 4.

Bataan, the NCR, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Iloilo City, Siquijor, Lanao del Norte, Davao City, and Davao del Norte shall be placed under alert level 3. Baguio City was included as an area for special monitoring and shall also be placed under alert level 3.

Under alert level 2 are Angeles City, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Quezon Province, Lucena City, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Cebu Province, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Iligan City, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.

The ALS used to be implemented exclusively in NCR as a way to test the limited reopening of businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme underwent its first pilot expansion earlier this month.

Roque has said that initial indications of the system’s effectiveness has been promising; however, the government has been very cautious in expanding the pilot coverage area.