Most of Zamboanga Peninsula placed under Modified Enhanced Community QuarantineJune 2, 2021
The new order placing most of Zamboanga Peninsula under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) could hurt the local economy, reeling from a series of lockdown the region has experienced for more than a year now.
The National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 on Monday after a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte placed 14 areas of the country, including most of Zamboanga Peninsula, under MECQ.
Zamboanga City, and the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur will be under MECQ from June 2 until June 15. The decision did not include Isabela City in Basilan.
The IATF decision had briefly caused confusion in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Only a day after the provincial government had implemented the order placing the province under “stricter measures,” Gov. Wilter Palma issued Tuesday a new executive order in line with the IATF decision.
IATF Resolution 117-A had included the province in the new quarantine classification, Palma, in his order, said.
While the measure the province had implemented starting June 1 allowed dine-in in restaurants, the new order prohibited dine-in services.
Under MECQ, below are the establishments that are still not allowed to operate:
- Entertainment venues with live performers, cinemas, karaoke bars, bars, clubs
- Recreational venues such as internet cafes, arcades, etc.
- Amusement parks or theme parks
- Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports
- Indoor sports courts or venues, gyms, spas, swimming pools etc.
- Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except for the draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
- Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits
- Outdoor tourist attractions
- Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions
- Personal care services which includes beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical aesthetic clinics, etc. Homes service of these activities are also not allowed
- Indoor dine-in services (The order signed by Palma allows food takeout and deliveries.)
Government offices “may opt to enforce skeletal workforce on-site and work-from-home arrangements.”
Only hotels or accommodation establishments with valid accreditation from the Department of Tourism (DOT) are allowed to accept guests for legitimate purposes, according to the order.
Palma ordered the schools to suspend the distribution of modules.
Confirmed cases, variants
Zamboanga Peninsula has 16,481 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 28. Of the total cases, 5,016 are active and 559 deaths.
The region, according to the Department of Health 9 (DOH 9), has recorded the presence of COVID-19 variants from other countries.
Two of the 56 samples have tested positive of UK variant while the remaining 54 samples are South Africa variant.
Another sample had tested positive for P.3, first detected in the Philippines.
DOH 9 collected these samples from March 29 to May 5 from Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, and Zamboanga del Sur.
Zamboanga Peninsula’s economy has posted decelerated growth of 4.6 percent in 2019 from 6.3 percent in 2018. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has yet to publish the economic performance for 2020.
PSA considered the following as main regional economy’s drivers of growth: wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, agriculture, forestry, and fishing, and manufacturing. (with John Mahusay)
PHOTO: Google map