Ever since the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) placed Metro Manila and the surrounding province under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions last May 14, some have wondered whether the curfew hours were adjusted as well. However, the government was quiet about it. Starting today, June 15, it seems Metro Manila mayors have agreed to adjust the curfew hours.
Rather than starting at 10:00 PM, those residing in Metro Manila can now stay out longer. Metro Manila mayors have decided to implement curfew hours from 12:00 AM to 4:00 AM. According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, the decision to cut curfew hours was based on the low daily attack rate in the region. The MMDA chief also adds that bed occupancy rates have improved as well.
“This will give more time sa mga taong kakain sa restaurants, sa mga malls na magbukas, sa travel time, at siguro makatulong sa ekonomiya,” said Abalos during an interview on state-owned PTV.
(This will give people more time to eat in restaurants, malls to open longer, give them more time to travel, and even help the economy).
Aside from the new curfew hours, Metro Manila will also be loosening its community quarantine restrictions starting June 16. Rather than “GCQ with heightened restrictions”, Metro Manila and Bulacan will be under “GCQ with some restrictions”. Meanwhile, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite will continue to be under GCQ until June 30, 2021.
Yes, the quarantine classification for the country just got even more confusing. So what's new for GCQ with some restrictions? Effectively, it's the same but allows more businesses to resume operations. These include gyms and indoor dining can now operate at up to 30% capacity (40% if they have a seal from the DTI). For reference, the previous guidelines limited seating capacity in indoor and outdoor dining establishments at 30% and 50%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the previous guidelines for GCQ with restrictions carry over. Religious activities, including weddings and wakes, are restricted to 30% capacity. Local government units, however, are given the option to increase the level to 50%. Personal care services not requiring the removal of face masks are allowed at 30% capacity.
While Metro Manila shifts to a GCQ with some restrictions, 21 areas are back to MECQ starting June 16 until June 30. These are Santiago City, Cagayan, Apayao, Ifugao, Bataan, Lucena City, Puerto Princesa , Naga City, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao Del Sur.
The rest of the country remains under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status until June 30.