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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 14, 2020
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Gov’t flip-flops, puts Negros,
Bacolod under modified GCQ


Negros Occidental and Bacolod City will be under Modified General Community Quarantine starting Saturday until the end of May to prevent a resurgence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday said community quarantine in all low-risk areas in the Philippines will not be lifted as stated in the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 35 announced by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Tuesday. They will, instead, be placed under Modified GCQ, he said.

A lot of governors and mayors informed them that they were not ready to end community quarantine yet, he said, so an amendment was made to Resolution 35.

“Our local chief executives will have guidelines on how to implement a modified GCQ so that they can still have powers to contain the spread of the virus,” Año said.

Negros Occidental that is now under GCQ and Bacolod City that is under Enhanced Community Quarantine were among those classified as low-risk areas.

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday they were waiting for the national Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines for the implementation of the Modified GCQ.

Under modified GCQ, movement will be more relaxed and workers are allowed to report back to their non-essential jobs while practicing minimum health standards, such as wearing of face masks in public, physical distancing, and constant hand washing and disinfecting, but details have yet to be specified in the guidelines to be released by the IATF.

Public transportation with proper physical distancing of passengers is also expected.

Lacson said he hopes airports and seaports will remain closed to passengers.

Budget carriers Cebu Pacific and Air Asia Philippines yesterday announced further cancellation of all their international and domestic flights from May 16-31.

Philippine Airlines also announced that all domestic flights to and from hubs in Manila, Cebu and Clark will remain suspended until May 31.

Leonardia said “as this is now the directive of the National IATF, we are expected to comply. However, we will first wait for the guidelines so we can act accordingly” *


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