President Rodrigo Duterte will announce tomorrow, June 30, the new community quarantine classifications to be imposed starting July 1, Malacañang said Monday.

Duterte last June 15 eased majority of the lockdowns in the country to gradually revive the economy.

World Health Organization data showed that since making the shift to less stringent community quarantine protocols, the Philippines has tallied the most number of new Covid-19 cases in the Western Pacific region.

Since June 15, the country has recorded 11,130 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total to 36,438.

Cebu City, which was placed back on enhanced community quarantine, the strictest mode of lockdown in the country, has emerged as the new Covid-19 epicenter in the country, according to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Metro Manila, which had shifted to general community quarantine, continues to see a rise in coronavirus infections.

In the capital Manila, it has reached a “plateau,” its Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso claimed.

‘In control’

Malacañang on Monday asserted that the government was “in control” of the Covid-19 pandemic, as President Duterte was doing “the very best” he could in handling the health crisis.

“Tama ba ang mga hakbang na ginawa ng ating gobyerno? Ang sagot po namin – opo. Hindi po tayo perpekto, siguro po talaga we could have done better. Pero narito na po tayo and one thing I can assure you, the President did the very best that he can and we are in control of the situation,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo last week criticized the government’s lack of urgency in its response to the pandemic and how it remained to be “in denial” of its shortcomings.

Roque, who responded to Robredo by saying that she was only “looking at the glass half-empty,” declared anew that critics lambasting the government were doing so for their own political gain.

“Alam ninyo po, isa lang ang mensahe ni Presidente – itigil ang pulitika sa panahon ng Covid-19. Pero hindi po tumitigil ang binabato nila sa atin… may kakulangan daw. Tinanong ano ang kulang, [w]ala naman binibigay,” he said.

Roque said the country was able to avoid reaching 3.6 million infections due to the Duterte-imposed lockdowns, which were among the longest in the world.

“Ilan dapat ang nagkaroon na ng sakit na Covid-19 kung hindi po gumawa ng mga hakbang ang gobyerno, ng ating Presidente? Ang sabi po ng UP, kung wala po tayong lockdown na ginawa e ngayon po mayroon na tayo sanang 3.6 million cases ng Covid – 3.6 million.”

The country, according to the World Health Organization, has recorded the fastest-growing number of coronavirus infections in the Western Pacific region since June 16, the start of the country’s shift to less stringent quarantine protocols.

The country has recorded 36,438 Covid-19 cases as of June 29. John Ezekiel J. Hirro