COVID-19 ALERT 18 | Philippine Transition from MECQ to GCQ

31 May 2020



Good day!


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that the National Capital Region (NCR), where our Crystal IEAC is located, along with other areas Davao City, Region II, Region III, Region IVA, Pangasinan, and Albay, will shift to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting tomorrow, June 1, 2020. The rest of the country, President Duterte added, will be placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) except for Cebu City which is under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until 15 June 2020. The government is continuously evaluating the situation in the various regions/provinces if there is a further need to change or modify the quarantine situation.


The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) earlier defined GCQ as the implementation of temporary measures limiting movement and transportation, regulation of operating industries, and presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols. MGCQ, on the other hand, refers to the transition between GCQ and the New Normal, when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: limiting movement and transportation, the regulation of operating industries, and the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.


The following will be expected to be implemented under GCQ:

  • Public health standards - Under GCQ and MGCQ, all residents are required to observe minimum public health standards at all times.
  • People movement - Movement of people in GCQ areas will be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate except for leisure purposes.
  • Government & Private Work - Work in government offices in areas under GCQ may be at full operational capacity or under alternative work arrangements as agencies may deem proper in accordance with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) rules and regulations. There are categorization of the sectors which are allowed to operate at full & 50% capacity.
  • Transportation - Road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation shall operate at a reduced operational and vehicle capacity in areas under GCQ, given that minimum health standards are observed. A minimum 1-meter physical distancing in public transport is required. Said operation should be in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).


Minimum Standards Transition from ECQ to GCQ Transportation



In addition, as stated in our previous alerts 15 & 17, inbound international commercial flight arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is still under restriction capacity limit of 400 passengers per day until 12 June 2020 per the advice of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will continue to implement international flight travel restrictions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) even when Metro Manila transitions to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1. In effect, most international flights remain suspended due to the said travel restrictions.


Good thing is that our DOTr is planning to gradually expand the international aviation gateways in the country to include airports in Clark, Cebu, and Davao and other international airports in the country subject to government guidelines once the capital region shifts to GCQ. The said move aims to decongest terminals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila and transfer the load to other provinces and regions. As for domestic air operations, DOTr will allow the its resumption from GCQ to GCQ areas.


We will give you fresh updates once received from our government.