Malacañang: ‘We need the concerted effort of everyone’ in GCQ, MGCQ areas

Mara Cepeda
'The government cannot fight COVID-19 alone,' says Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque as the country further eases quarantine measures

SAFETY FIRST. Face mask-wearing shoppers at SM Megamall practice physical distancing while lining up to enter the premises on May 16, 2020. Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is asking Filipinos to “continue cooperating” with the government as parts of the country will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting Monday, June 1. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the appeal in a statement on Sunday, May 31, a day before the country shifts to GCQ and MGCQ in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. (READ: EXPLAINER: What’s modified ECQ and modified GCQ?)

“The government cannot fight COVID-19 alone. We need the concerted effort of everyone. The sacrifices of our people in the past 70 or so days are laudable and we must not put these to naught. It maybe difficult for some, especially those who will physically report, but we live in extraordinary times and situation,” Roque said. 

He then reminded the public to continue practicing physical distancing protocols, including avoiding crowded places and wearing of face masks while in public. 

“As more sectors and industries begin to operate, let us continue cooperating with authorities in enforcing quarantine protocols. Let us take care of each other by wearing face masks/face shields, maintaining physical/social distancing, staying at home if/when need be and avoiding crowded places, and the like.  Only then we can heal and rise as one,” Roque said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte – upon recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases – agreed to the downgrading of Metro Manila, Davao City, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, and Albay to GCQ starting Monday. 

The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ, the lowest form of community quarantine enforced by the government. 

Under GCQ, public transportation will resume operations but at a limited capacity and with observance of health protocols. Salons and barbershops will also be allowed to resume operations in GCQ areas. 

But a group of University of the Philippines experts and scientists said data from the Department of Health show it may be “premature” to ease quarantine measures in Metro Manila. 

As of Saturday afternoon, May 30, the Philippines has recorded a total of 17,224 with 950 deaths and 3,808 recoveries. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.