Palace spokesman Harry Roque told the public to expect more localized lockdowns in Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ), as the government aims to place the National Capital Region (NCR) on modified GCQ after June 30.

“Asahan po natin ang mas malawakang localized lockdown bagama’t ang Metro Manila po ay nasa GCQ. Ito po iyong pamamaraan talaga para mapabagal natin ang [pagkalat] ng sakit dahil alam naman natin na kinakailangang buksan ang ekonomiya,” Roque said in a Palace briefing Tuesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night extended Metro Manila’s GCQ status to June 30.

“Will we ever graduate to MGCQ? We hope so and that’s what we’re striving for,” Roque said.

He added that NCR remained the epicenter of Covid-19 despite Cebu City being the only area in the country to revert back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“I will not conclude that Cebu is the new epicenter; Metro Manila is still the epicenter with 14 million inhabitants. Let’s just say that in terms of individual cities, pinakamataas na po ang kaso ng Covid sa Cebu City, na-overtake na po niya ang Quezon City,” he explained.

The spokesman also reiterated Interior Secretary Eduardo Año’s advice for mayors to be aggressive in the implementation of quarantine protocols.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has given mayors power to impose localized lockdowns at the level of barangays, zones, roads, subdivisions or buildings. John Ezekiel J. Hirro