NEDA wants MGCQ for entire country in March

The entire country would be under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the loosest quarantine mode, in March if the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had its way.

Acting NEDA chief Karl Chua made the case for this in front of President Rodrigo Duterte himself during a meeting on Monday, February 15, in Davao City.

Chua said his agency's proposal to "further open the economy to MGCQ for the entire Philippines, especially NCR (National Capital Region)" is backed by the entire national pandemic task force.

"We want to mitigate sickness, hunger, poverty, job, and income loss that are arising from non-COVID-19 cases. We need to use localized lockdowns to address the local spread of the virus," he told Duterte.

Other proposals backed by the task force but have yet to get Duterte's green light are the following:

  • Allow 75% seating capacity in public transportation, from the current 50% in general community quarantine areas
  • Allow 5 to 70-year-olds to leave their homes (not necessarily to allow them in malls)
  • Resume plan to hold pilot face-to-face classes in certain low-risk areas

Chua stressed the urgency of implementing these measures, saying the country is losing P2.8 billion a day in wages, and that no great spikes in COVID-19 cases occurred when the country began reopening the economy in October and after the Christmas holidays.

He also described the spread of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant as under control. ā€“

Pia Ranada

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