President Rodrigo Duterte, in his latest national address on June 15, announced that Metro Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until June 30.
Duterte approved the classification recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force. Other places in Luzon included under general community quarantine until the end of the month are Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Santiago City in Cagayan Valley, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Tarlac, Olongapo City in Central Luzon, Calabarzon Region, and Occidental Mindoro in Mimaropa. In Central Visayas and Mindanao, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Davao City and Zamboanga City remain under extended GCQ.
Due to the increasing number of new cases, widespread transmission within barangays, consistent case doubling time of less than seven days and significant increase in critical care utilization, Cebu City was placed back to the most stringent IATF classification—enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Talisay City, a component city under the Province of Cebu, is placed under modified enhanced community quarantine.
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque added that all provinces and cities must observe the necessary public health standards especially in high-risk areas including localized community quarantine in critical areas, immediate facility-based isolation for returning residents and suspect cases, and the improvement of local health systems.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also reminded residents in GCQ areas to continue observing health protocols. “[P]inaalalahanan po natin ang ating mga kababayan na habang wala pa pong bakuna at wala pang gamot, kinakailangan manatiling malusog, social distancing, wearing of masks, paghuhugas po ng kamay,” said Roque.
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones announced that 10.6 million public school learners have enrolled online since the start of enrollment last June 1. She discussed the possible methods to resume classes through alternative technologies including the use of cellphones, television and radios. DepEd will also be producing printed learning modules that will be deposited to local government units (LGU) for parents and guardians to pick up.
“What is new is that we are placing the emphasis that we are placing on these alternative technologies because we agree with you that we should not be allowing our children to go to school or our teachers to go to school at this time until it is absolutely safe for them but they can continue learning,” said Briones.
Briones also reported that DepEd is negotiating with two telecommunications companies and radio stations to provide free equipment for learners.
Duterte reminded the public that no face-to-face classes will resume on Aug. 24 and will be as so until a vaccine can be found.
“Even without a face there, as long as you are really interested to learn and ito ‘yung mga mahirap, kaawa naman. We will try to come up with something in the next few days. Maybe before the end of the week, I would be able to look for the money,” Duterte added.
On the Social Amelioration Program
Department of Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año announced that the barangay and LGU officials will be addressing the anomalies in the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). According to Año, they have received 452 complaints and are now handling 250 cases to investigate the problems. Added to this, 885 private individuals have been arrested for hoarding, profiteering and manipulation of prices.
Año also announced that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has begun to distribute the second tranche through new methods of distribution like bank-to-bank transfer, money transfer, and deposits to digital wallets.
President Duterte reminded the public to listen to the government’s advice on following health standards.
“Bear in mind that you have a part in our collective effort to prevail against the pandemic.” Duterte said as he ended his speech. “Huwag tayong sumunod sa iba kasi iyong iba, they are suffering, especially those who declared na puwede nang lumabas when knowing all along na nandiyan pa ang COVID, hindi pa nawawala.”
Header photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Operations Office
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