President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce the new quarantine classifications in the country on June 15, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte would address Filipinos on Monday to inform them about the new quarantine rules that will be implemented nationwide beginning June 16.

“Kaunting hintay na lang po. Mismong si Presidente Duterte po ang haharap at kakausap sa taumbayan sa Lunes, June 15 para i-anunsyo ito (We just need to wait. President Duterte will address the public on Monday, June 15 to make the announcement),” Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

Duterte was supposed to meet with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Davao City on Thursday but decided to move the meeting to Monday in Manila.

Roque said the IATF-EID has already come up with recommendations on the reclassification of community quarantines in the country.

He said the IATF-EID based its recommendations on “science and data.”

He, however, noted that the IATF-EID’s recommendations are still subject to Duterte’s approval.

“Iko-confirm ko po na meron na tayong mga rekomendasyon pero ang mga rekomendasyon po, hindi pa po pinal (I confirm that there are recommendations already but those are not yet final),” Roque said. “Hindi ko po sasabihin kung ano ang mga naging desisyon para sa iba’t ibang lugar ng Pilipinas dahil ayaw ko pong pangunahan ang ating Presidente (I will not announce the decision for different areas in the Philippines because I don’t want to preempt the President’s announcement).”

Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City, Davao City, Albay, Cebu City, and Mandaue are under general community quarantine (GCQ) until June 15.

The rest of the country is under modified GCQ (MGCQ), the lowest level of community quarantine imposed by the government before the shift to the new normal.

Warning vs. leaked document

Roque warned the public to stop sharing any document from the IATF-EID that might be leaked anew on social media.

“At ‘yung mga mahilig mag-leak, papaalahanan ko kayo, hayaan niyo nang ang Presidente ang mag-announce (For those who always leak [the IATF-EID resolution, I am reminding you to just let the President make the announcement),” Roque said.

Roque said they might only spread “fake news” since there could still be a lot of changes in the IATF-EID resolution.

“Meron pa pong mga apela na mangyayari. So ‘yung listahan po ay hindi pa pinal (There will be appeals. So the list is not yet final),” he said. “Pupwede pa po iyang magbago at magiging fake news ang inyong ibabalita (So that there might be changes and you might only share fake news).”

LGUs informed

Roque ensured that the country is ready to enforce the new quarantine rules by June 16.

He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had already informed the local government units (LGUs) about the possible quarantine reclassifications in their respective localities.

“DILG is already in contact with local government units so alam na po nila kung ano ang possible classification nila (They already know the possible classification in their areas). And they are now given the opportunity to appeal para kapag nag-announce po si Presidente sa Lunes, tapos na po ‘yung apela (so they already make an appeal before the President makes the announcement on Monday),” Roque said.

Malacañang admitted on Tuesday that the return to modified ECQ (MECQ) is possible in areas with rising number of Covid-19 cases.

On the other hand, the quarantine classifications might be downgraded in other parts of the country, the Palace said.

MGCQ might be imposed in areas that are currently under GCQ, while the new normal might be experienced in places under MGCQ.

Roque noted that either MECQ, GCQ, or MGCQ would be implemented in Metro Manila and Cebu City where Covid-19 infections continue to rise.

“The options are either magiging MGCQ or magiging GCQ or babalik sa MECQ (they will be under MGCQ, GCQ, or MECQ),” he said. (PNA)