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    NCR, Laguna, Bataan downgraded to MECQ

    MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved on Thursday, August 19, 2021, to place the National Capital Region (NCR) and the province of Laguna under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) beginning August 21, 2021 until August 31, 2021.

    The IATF likewise approved to put the province of Bataan under MECQ beginning August 23, 2021 until August 31, 2021.

    "While workers can resume limited onsite operations with the shift to MECQ, these re-classifications are without prejudice to the imposition of localized or granular lockdowns in critical areas,"said Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, in a press statement.

    Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque
    Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. Photo from Facebook/Harry Roque

    Roque said that local government units of the aforementioned areas are directed to improve their vaccination rates, Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies, and observance and compliance to Minimum Public Health Standards.

    "This latest IATF resolution has focused on targeted restrictions, limited non-essential activities and re-calibrated actions on specific high-risk activities, which are mentioned below," Roque said.

    He added that indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, and personal care services including beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas shall not be allowed in the NCR, Laguna and Bataan.

    Also, religious gatherings shall remain virtual in the NCR, Bataan and Laguna.

    Necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals, meanwhile, shall be allowed, provided the immediate family members of the deceased who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall present satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and that they fully comply with the prescribed minimum public health standards.

    "The members of the IATF have decided that we all need to be strategic and purposive in our responses to control the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants. Community quarantine is not the only solution to the pandemic," Roque said.

    The Presidential Spokesperson said that IATF approved the constitution of a sub-Technical Working Group to design, deploy, support and recommend relevant policies related to the national certificate for COVID-19 vaccinations, otherwise known as “VaxCertPH.”

    He said that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) shall lead this sub-Technical Working Group.

    Other members include the Department of Health, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor and Employment, the National Privacy Commission and other agencies which may be included by the DICT.

    — The Summit Express

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