Entire PH now under alert level 2

Published December 3, 2021, 4:42 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

The entire Philippines is now under alert level 2, thanks to a tweak made Thursday, Dec. 2 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

A couple enjoys a date at Intramuros in Manila. (Ali Vicoy/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement sent to Malacañang reporters late Thursday night, Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles bared that the IATF amended the metrics for determining alert level classifications of provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities in relation to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The IATF amendments include removing the one-week growth rate as a metric for escalation from alert level 1 to alert level 2; the escalation of areas under alert level 1 to alert level 2 if either case classification or total COVID-19 bed utilization increases to moderate risk or higher; and the escalation of areas under alert level 2 to alert level 3 if both case classification and total COVID-19 bed utilization are at moderate risk, or if case classification is at high to critical risk,” the Nograles said.

“Applying the revised metrics, Apayao shall be classified under alert level 2 from Dec. 3, 2021 until Dec. 15, 2021,” added Nograles, who also serves as spokesperson of the pandemic task force.

The Palace official said during an ANC Headstart interview Wednesday, Dec. 1 that Apayao–a landlocked province in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in Luzon–was the sole province that remained under alert level 3 based on the government’s Level System (ALS) for COVID-19 response.

“To put it simply, yung province of Apayao, yun na lamang po ang naiiwan sa alert level 3 (only the province of Apayao remains under alert level 3). Every province, highly urbanized city, and independent component city–lahat po, sa buong Pilipinas–ay naka-alert level 2 na po (every other place in the entire Philippines is now under alert level 2),” he told ANC.

The National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila was the first region in the country to enjoy alert level 2 status, achieving the milestone last November 5. The five-tier ALS was also first piloted in NCR.

It was roughly a month ago when Malacañang ordered the nationwide implementation of ALS, which replaced the somewhat restrictive regional quarantine classification scheme.

National authorities have grown to favor the ALS as it allowed for the steady reopening of industries and businesses in specific areas–undoubtedly a huge boon to the country especially this fourth quarter.