President Duterte orders extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine until May 15, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared an extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in select high-risk areas in the Philippines until May 15, 2020. The declaration was made upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Under the IATF-EID recommendation, high-risk areas – where there are many confirmed COVID-19 cases – are identified as Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Albay, Catanduanes, and both Oriental and Occidental Mindoro. These areas will remain in enhanced community quarantine until May 15, 2020.

The following areas shall also be under enhanced lockdownd and are up for reevaluation on April 30, 2020: Benguet, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambalez, Antique, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Cebu City, Davao del Norte, and Davao City.

Guidelines for what is allowed and how their quarantines will be maintained will be developed by the DOH, DOT, DPWH, DOLE, and DTI.

In the other areas and administrative regions that are considered as low to medium risk, a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) shall be implemented starting May 1, 2020, with a possibility of being lifted by May 15, 2020, should there be no change in the risk level.

Under the GCQ, certain sectors of the workforce, as defined by the government, will be allowed to work or operate in phases. However, the general population will still need to observe strict home quarantine and may only go out to buy basic necessities.

On March 15, 2020 at 12 midnight, the entire NCR was placed under quarantine. After a chaotic first day of quarantine come March 16 (Monday), President Duterte extended the quarantine for the entire island of Luzon, taking effect on March 17. The Luzon-wide lockdown was previously scheduled to be lifted on April 30. However, with the continued rise of COVID-19 cases, many experts have recommended its extension.