Puerto Princesa City and Palawan will be downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting June 1 to 15, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Infectious Disease.

Virgilio Tagle, provincial and city director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), said Thursday the IATF has issued a set of guidelines for MGCQ areas under IATF Resolution No. 40 providing for the lifting of certain restrictions that are currently in place.

He added however this “omnibus guidelines” is still subject to further issuances of different concerned departments.

Under the MGCQ guidelines, all persons will be allowed outside provided that minimum health standards are observed such as wearing face masks, frequent hand washing or disinfection, and strict observance of physical distancing.

Mass gatherings, including religious gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, entertainment activities, community assemblies, and other non-essential work gatherings will be allowed provided that the venue or seating capacity will be reduced by half, or at 50 percent.

“Kulang pa ‘yong guidelines. Halimbawa, itong sa movies na allowed na, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has to issue rules,” Tagle pointed out.

Public transportation, including maritime and aviation, may also resume operations based on the rules that will be prescribed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Madel Espartero, spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Puerto Princesa City, told Palawan News on Thursday that they have yet to set a target date for the reopening of the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA).



“We are on standby for instructions from our higher authorities since kakalabas lang ng new reclassification natin,” Espartero said.

In-person classes in higher education institutions (HEI) or tertiary level will already be allowed, subject to guidelines to be issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

However, education secretary Leonor Briones stated that DepEd will still not allow face-to-face classes in primary and secondary schools, consistent with the pronouncement earlier made by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Briones said that classes will still resume in August by will be conducted using “blended learning” approaches.

Earlier this week President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not allow classes to resume until a vaccine is already available.

“There is no conflict, no debate with the statement of the President and DepEd. There will be no face to face. Ang interesting ngayon ay ang blended learning. Andyan ang DepEd Commons, TV, online, cellphone,” Briones said.

The K-12 Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan by the Department of Education (DepEd) provides for the resumption of classes by August 24, while enrollment procedure may be held starting June 1.

Category IV establishments including barbershops, salons, dine-in restaurants, food retail and other personal care services may resume operations at 50 percent venue capacity, subject to other operational guidelines set by the concerned agencies or departments.

Non-contact exercises, including walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, and other indoor or outdoor sports activities will also be allowed, provided that sports equipment will not be shared to prohibit direct contact.

Diplomatic missions and international organizations will also be allowed to resume full operation.


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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.