After more than a month under the country's two strictest quarantine classifications, Metro Manila and 4 adjacent provinces Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan, will shift to a "stricter" version of general community quarantine (GCQ) on Saturday, May 15.
This was announced by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Thursday, May 13, during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Still, certain areas in the country will be under modified enhanced community quarantine due to the rate of transmissions and state of healthcare system in those areas.
Below are the quarantine classifications announced by Malacañang, valid from May 15 to 31:
GCQ 'with heightened restrictions'
In a statement sent to media as the meeting was being aired, Roque explained what the government means by "heightened restrictions" in the GCQ that will be imposed in "NCR Plus" until May 31.
The Metro Manila Council, composed of the region's 17 mayors and Metro Manila Development Authority, had proposed GCQ for the megacity, basing the recommendation on hospital capacity, arrival of vaccines, decrease in new COVID-19 cases, and economic conditions.
The over a month imposition of various forms of "lockdown" was a bid to lower the number of COVID-19 transmissions detected since March, when new daily cases started soaring past the 5,000 mark. Weeks later, on April 2, the country logged its highest ever daily count – 15,310 cases.
Since then, the number of new cases reported per day has been gradually decreasing. It has stayed below 5,000 for the past two days.
Malacañang has attributed this decrease to the imposition of stricter quarantine classifications starting March 22.
Metro Manila and the four provinces that share borders with it, an area called "NCR Plus," have been under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) since April 12 or for four weeks.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.