COVID-19 community quarantines in the Philippines
|COVID-19 community quarantines in the Philippines|
|Part of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns|
Community quarantines in the Philippines (as of August 1)
General community quarantine
Modified general community quarantine
|Date||March 15, 2020 – present|
|Caused by||COVID-19 pandemic|
|Goals||To contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines|
|Methods||Checkpoints for checking the motivation for travel, banning of public events, closure of commercial and retail businesses, closure of schools and universities, and other prohibitions.|
As a measure to limit the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines, lockdowns, officially characterized as "community quarantine" by the government, of varying strictness were imposed in numerous parts of the Philippines. The "enhanced community quarantine" (ECQ) is the strictest of such measures. The largest of these measures was the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
Background[edit source | edit]
Given the rapidly increasing number of cases in the National Capital Region, Albay 2nd district representative Joey Salceda proposed a week-long lockdown of the region to prevent the disease from spreading nationwide. Salceda specifically proposed the closure of the Philippine expressway network and public transportation accessing the region, in addition to the suspension of classes and work. President Duterte initially rejected the proposal claiming it would "hamper the flow of basic commodities". Secretary Duque, however, raised the possibility of a lockdown on certain cities or towns if cases of community-based transmissions are reported, but not an entire region. On March 12, President Duterte announced a partial lockdown covering Metro Manila, that began on March 15.
At one point during President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement about the Metro Manila "community quarantine," he said that "they are afraid to call it a lockdown, but it is a lockdown." This statement left many confused. His cabinet secretary, Karlo Nograles, later made it clear that the proper term is "community quarantine" and the President's comment means that the event "is like a lockdown." Nograles further said that the term "lockdown" can lead to different interpretations, while "community quarantine" is a technical term that medical authorities can give meaning, which does not create public fear.
When the "community quarantine" was applied to Luzon, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, said that the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is equivalent to an "absolute lockdown or total lockdown." Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also said that "enhanced community quarantine" should be considered as a "total lockdown."
In addition, President Duterte advised local government units outside of the National Capital Region to implement a community quarantine in cases where, in a given level of local government, at least two COVID-19 cases are confirmed within a lower level of its jurisdiction; for example, a province-wide quarantine should be implemented if there are at least two COVID-19 cases confirmed within different cities or municipalities in the same province, while a city/municipality-wide quarantine should be implemented if there are at least two COVID-19 cases confirmed within different barangays in the same city or municipality. Local government units were also authorized to utilize their quick response funds upon declaration of a state of emergency.
The national government has given local government units under enhanced community quarantine in Visayas and Mindanao and relevant field offices of the Department of Health the power to lift or extend the lockdown period in their jurisdiction. The imposition of a "localized lockdown" involving measures at the barangay, sitio, and/or purok level instead of fully lifting ECQs has been proposed.
On April 6, the following localities were under enhanced community quarantine: all regions of Luzon, Western Visayas, Caraga Region, Zamboanga Peninsula, Samar, Biliran, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Tawi-Tawi, and the municipality of Catarman in Northern Samar.
On April 24, it was clarified that local government units can no longer impose quarantine measures without the consent of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Prior to that period, localities could impose such measures with coordination with the DILG. President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 112, extending enhanced community quarantine in select localities until May 15 and imposing a general community quarantine in the rest of the country, also overriding existing quarantine measures by local government units, starting May 1.
Tiers of quarantine[edit source | edit]
Enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)[edit source | edit]
Localities under an enhanced community quarantine are generally ordered to stay at home and its residents are restricted from traveling to other cities or barangays. Barangay governments can issue quarantine passes allowing residents to buy essential goods outside curfew hours and within the issuing barangays's jurisdiction. The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act also provides measures related to the ECQ such as:
- Limitations on an all forms of transportation
- Work suspensions and setting up of alternative working arrangements such as teleworking.
- Ensuring the supply of food and medical products
- Measures against profiteering and hoarding of essential goods
- Provision allowing a 30-day grace period for loan and rental payments during the quarantine period.
General community quarantine (GCQ)[edit source | edit]
General community quarantine, which was introduced on May 1, is generally less stringent than ECQ. Public transportation is allowed at a reduced capacity and select businesses are allowed to operate at 50 to 100 percent of their regular capacity depending on their industry. Shopping malls are also allowed to operate, although only select stalls and stores are allowed to open.
Other measures[edit source | edit]
There are types of quarantine or lockdown measures aside from the ECQ and GCQ. Additional measures have been imposed under an "extensive enhanced community quarantine" or "extreme enhanced community quarantine" (EECQ). An EECQ is generally stricter than an ECQ. Prior to the imposition of the Luzon enhanced community quarantine, a more lenient measure which include a stay-at-home order and a curfew was imposed in Metro Manila which was officially called as a "community quarantine".
A "total lockdown" measure, distinct from an ECQ, has been considered, which would prohibit people from leaving their places of residence and mandate the closure of all public establishments. The measure is considered as an option by Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
A level under GCQ, is called a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
A classification called "new normal", a level under MGCQ was introduced sometime in June 2020 although has never yet been used. An area needs to be placed under MGCQ prior to the imposition of new normal measures.
Implementation[edit source | edit]
Prior to May 1[edit source | edit]
The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon covers the island of Luzon and its outlying islands, or eight out of seventeen regions of the Philippines. An indefinite enhanced community quarantine, was imposed in Caraga, alternatively known as One Shield Caraga, starting April 7, and in the Davao Region starting April 4.
May[edit source | edit]
May 1–15[edit source | edit]
Enhanced community quarantines (ECQs) were extended in Metro Manila, Central Luzon (excluding Aurora), and Calabarzon regions as well as in the provinces of Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Cebu, and the cities of Bacolod and Davao until May 15 as per President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order 112. All other areas were placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) unless otherwise approved by the IATF-EID. Albay and Zamboanga City were also included among local government units placed under ECQ. The IATF-EID allows local government units, the imposition or extension of ECQ at a municipal or barangay level with the concurrence of their respective regional IATF-EID.
Request to extend ECQs in the following areas were rejected by the IATF-EID: the provinces of Camarines Sur, La Union, Mountain Province, Isabela, Lanao del Norte, and Lanao del Sur, and the cities of Marawi and Butuan.
May 16–31[edit source | edit]
On May 12, 2020, it was originally announced that community quarantine measures will be lifted in 41 provinces and 11 cities across the country due to their being low risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but were eventually upgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) after receiving petitions from LGUs starting May 16.
The IATF-EID issued Resolution No. 37, overriding prior plans, placing Metro Manila, the cities of Angeles and Bacoor, as well as the provinces of Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales under modified enhanced community quarantine, which is more lenient than an ECQ but stricter than a GCQ. Cebu City and Mandaue were placed under ECQ while the rest of the country was placed under GCQ. The measure became effective on May 16 with quarantine measures to be reassessed on May 31.
June[edit source | edit]
June 1–15[edit source | edit]
The IATF-EID issued Resolution No. 41 to override prevailing quarantine measures in the country starting June 1. Measures in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Central Visayas regions transitioned to general community quarantine (GCQ). GCQ remained in Cagayan Valley, Pangasinan (except Dagupan), Zamboanga City and Davao City, while the rest of the country was placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). However Marc Brian Lim, the city mayor of Dagupan suspended the implementation of GCQ measures in the city to MGCQ as directed by the IATF-EID. This followed Dagupan recording 14 additional COVID-19 cases on May 31, the day prior the city was supposed to transition to MGCQ. Lim appealed to the IATF-EID for the task force to allow his city to remain under GCQ.
June 16–30[edit source | edit]
Due to the sudden increase number of community transmissions in the area, the IATF-EID recommended the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to Cebu City starting on June 16, the most stringent lockdown measure tier with the neighboring Talisay being reimposed under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Meanwhile, GCQ was extended or reimposed in the areas of Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Occidental Mindoro, the rest of Central Visayas, Zamboanga City and Davao City.
July[edit source | edit]
July 1–15[edit source | edit]
On June 23, the IATF-EID temporarily removed the "new normal" classification which meant that all areas in the country will still be under varying levels of community quarantine after the June 16–30 measures.
The GCQ were either reimposed or extended to the provinces of Benguet, Cavite, Leyte (except Tacloban), Rizal, Southern Leyte, and several parts of Cebu. Only Cebu City remained under ECQ as the city confirms more cases.
July 16–31[edit source | edit]
On July 15, quarantine measures continued to ease as Cebu City shifted to MECQ. Metro Manila remains under GCQ for another two weeks. Other areas under GCQ includes the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Basilan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Southern Leyte, as well as the cities of Butuan, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Ormoc, and Zamboanga. The rest of the country shifts to MGCQ.
August[edit source | edit]
August 1–15[edit source | edit]
Quarantine measures for August 1 to 15 were decided on July 30 and was announced on July 31. Cebu City's MECQ has finally been downgraded to GCQ. Other places that are still under GCQ includes: the Metro Manila, the provinces of Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Talisay, and Zamboanga, and the municipalities of Consolacion and Minglanilla in Cebu. The rest of the country are still under MGCQ.
Summary[edit source | edit]
Notes[edit source | edit]
References[edit source | edit]
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