President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday evening indicated that Metro Manila "might open partially" under a modified community quarantine scheme.
"We might open partially, construction workers things like that. You wait for the… lalabas na po yung modified," Duterte said in his televised address.
"Modified ang quarantine natin so we will allow sectors of society na hindi talaga nagdidikit-dikitan," he added.
"Kaya modified muna eh kasi kung magsiksikan kayo diyan sa LRT na naman, wala nang katapusan ang problema natin. It will never end," Duterte said.
Duterte earlier extended the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over Luzon and “high-risk” areas Benguet, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Albay, and Catanduanes to May 15.
A presidential adviser expressed confidence that the ECQ will no longer be extended past May 15 but underscored the need to ramp up the country’s testing capacity for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Meanwhile, areas at low risk for widespread COVID-19 transmission will be placed under a general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1.
In areas under GCQ, the agriculture, fisheries, food manufacturing, food retail, logistics, and media industries may resume full operations.
The manufacturing of electronics and exports, e-commerce and delivery, repair and maintenance services, housing, and office services may also resume 50 to 100 percent of their operations.
In the financial services, business process outsourcing, and other non-leisure wholesale and retail trade and services, a 50 percent onsite work and 50 percent work from home arrangement must be observed.
Public transportation may also resume at a reduced capacity in provinces under GCQ.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque earlier said that the GCQ will be the “new normal” for Filipinos for as long as there is no vaccine for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 has claimed 511 lives and infected 7,777 people nationwide. -NB/BAP, GMA News