President Rodrigo Duterte may decide on the fate of Metro Manila and other areas that are still under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on Monday, May 11.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will meet on Monday morning (May 11) to come up with a final recommendation to Duterte.
"It's not true that all places in Metro Manila will shift to GCQ (General Community Quarantine) and it's also not true that the entire Metro Manila will remain under ECQ. Let's wait until Monday because we expect the IATF to have a special meeting in the morning," the presidential spokesperson said in a televised press briefing on Saturday, May 9.
The 17 NCR mayors comprising the Metro Manila Council met on Saturday, May 9, to discuss three possible scenarios with the IATF regarding the quarantine:
- ECQ extension for two more weeks
- ECQ to be lifted; Metro Manila to be put under GCQ
- Modified GCQ to be implemented where local government units are given the discretion to impose area-specific lockdowns
Metro Manila was first placed under ECQ on March 16. It was set to last until April 12, but it was extended until April 30 under the recommendation of the IATF. On May 1, it was extended again until May 15. Other areas that have been placed under quarantine are Central Luzon except for Aurora Province, Pangasinan, Benguet, Albay, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod City, Zamboanga City, Davao City, and the CALABARZON region.
In ECQ, only essential businesses are allowed to operate and public transportation is suspended. With GCQ, however, selected establishments may reopen under the condition that they observe physical distancing and agree to temperature checks and disinfection of facilities. Some forms of transportation will also be allowed but at a reduced capacity.