The Philippines will no longer impose lockdowns against Covid-19, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Monday.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos Jr. said the government should implement measures that would balance public health and the economy.

“Sa ating sitwasyon sa pangkalusugan, nariyan pa rin ang banta ng Covid-19, lalo’t may mga nadidiskubreng bagong variants ng coronavirus. Pero hindi na natin kakayanin ang isa pang lockdown,” he said.

The Philippines last week saw a 33-percent increase in new weekly Covid-19 cases after tallying 19,536 new infections from July 18 to 24.

Marcos Jr. said the alert level system would stay for the time being.

The Department of Health is expected to come up with new alert level classifications by mid-August.

The president earlier said the decision to adjust alert levels would hinge on an area’s population’s booster-shot uptake.

The alert level system replaced the community quarantines the Philippine government introduced in 2020. John Ezekiel J. Hirro