The pandemic task force has placed the province of Ifugao and the city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan under stricter forms of quarantine classification due to increasing coronavirus cases and health care utilization rates, the Palace announced Friday.
Ifugao was reclassified under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from 1 to 14 May, while Puerto Princesa was included in the list of areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the entire month of May.
“This follows the appeal of local government units to place their respective areas under stricter quarantine classification. They said their cases are rising and they do not have enough hospitals,” presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
The national government also shortened the period that Santiago City in Isabela, as well the provinces of Quirino and Abra under MECQ from a full month to just two weeks or until mid-May.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – collectively known as NCR Plus – remain under MECQ until 14 May.
Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, and Lanao del Sur were placed under GCQ from 1 to 31 May.
The cities of Baguio in Benguet, Tacloban in Leyte, Iligan in Lanao del Norte, and Davao in Davao Region would also remain under GCQ next month.
The rest of the Philippines, meanwhile, would observe the most relaxed quarantine status or modified GCQ.
The IATF approved the new quarantine classifications of areas and provinces during their meeting Thursday afternoon through Resolution 113.
Roque said the task force also directed the local government units and business establishments to improve the implementation of their engineering and administrative controls, especially ventilation standards and sanctions against public gatherings.
“Health promotion and strict enforcement of minimum public health standards in all areas, especially their uniform implementation in high-risk areas, must continue,” the official added.
The IATF also ordered local mayors to impose localized lockdowns and to put up additional quarantine facilities in areas classified as high-risk for Covid-19.
As of April 29, the Philippines has recorded 1,028,738 coronavirus cases, with 17,145 deaths and 942,239 recoveries.