President Rodrigo Duterte approved the easing down of strict quarantine measures across the country, including the Philippine capital Manila, starting June 1.
“The [National Capital Region] will now be placed under the general community quarantine or the GCQ starting June 1,” said the president on Thursday night, May 28.
Also placed under GCQ are Davao City, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, and Albay.
The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ, the lowest form of community quarantine enforced by the government.
Under GCQ, public transportation will resume operations but at a limited capacity and with observance of health protocols like physical distancing and the wearing of masks.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) earlier defined GCQ as the implementation of temporary measures limiting movement and transportation, regulation of operating industries, and presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.
MGCQ, on the other hand, refers to the transition between GCQ and the New Normal, when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: limiting movement and transportation, the regulation of operating industries, and the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.
President Duterte instructed Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque to announce places where there will be changes depending on what the Chief Executive called “the viability of the place to meet the challenges of COVID-19.”
“The state has every right to control your movement if you pass on the contagion to the population,” the President said in his nationally televised address.
In the same press briefing, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade announced that train and rail operations will resume partial operations on June 1.
Secretary Tugade told the President and other members of the Cabinet that LRT and MRT trains will carry 10% to 12% of their passenger capacity while the Philippine National Railway will be on 35% capacity.
Three hundred to five hundred buses will be allowed to augment the limited passenger capacity in trains in EDSA.
The Philippines on Thursday, May 28, recorded the largest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases with 539 new contagions.
The Health Department said the new cases brought the total count to 15,588.
So far 3,598 people infected with the virus have recovered, including 92 new recoveries.
The disease has already killed 921 people in the country with 17 recent deaths registered.
The Philippines has established 42 laboratories for processing samples while 289,732 individuals have been tested for the disease.