IATF approves proposal to place entire PHL under MGCQ by March; President Duterte to decide next week

(Eagle News) — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the proposal to place the entire country under a modified general community quarantine.

President Rodrigo Duterte, however, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a television interview, is expected to decide on the recommendation on  Monday.

Roque said he will announce the President’s decision before the month ends.

Earlier, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos said Metro Manila mayors had agreed to recommend the MGCQ in the region on Wednesday.

Abalos had said in voting to recommend for the same, the mayors cited the lockdown’s effect on the economy as a concern.

Prior to this, acting National Economic Development Authority chief Karl Chua urged the lifting of restrictions, noting that the same has led to losses of P2.8 billion in salaries or an annual income loss of P23,000 per employee in 2020.

“Kailangan po natin mag-shift sana sa lalong madaling panahon sa MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) for the entire Philippines sana starting March 1, 2021, para i-address po ‘yung hunger,” he had said.

But the Octa research group studying the COVID-19 pandemic in Metro Manila said a further easing of restrictions there could result in an increase to 2,400 COVID-19 cases per day.