Duterte studying proposal to place entire PH under MGCQ by March

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is carefully studying the recommendation to place the entire Philippines under the most lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by March, Malacañang said Tuesday.

The President also wants to tackle the issue in a Cabinet meeting set on February 22, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Rekomendasyon pa lamang po ito ha. Pinagaaralang mabuti ng Pangulo ang rekomendasyon na ito,” Roque said in an online briefing.

(This is only a recommendation. The President is carefully studying this recommendation.)

“At ang sabi nga niya, nais niyang ito ay mapagusapan sa susunod na Cabinet meeting sa 22 ng buwan na ito,” he added.

(And he said he wants to discuss this in the next Cabinet meeting on the 22nd.)

In a separate Zoom interview with reporters, Roque said the expansion of public transportation’s capacity and the pilot implementation of in-person classes in low-risk areas will also be tackled in the Cabinet meeting.

National Economic and Development Authority chief Karl Chua said his recommendation to place the country under MGCQ is aimed to mitigate poverty and income loss amid the pandemic.

This comes as the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases recently allowed more businesses and tourist spots to reopen in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas also in a bid to spur economic activity.

For the month of February, areas under GCQ are Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao del Norte, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur. The rest of the country is under MGCQ.