NCR, Batangas, 5 other cities under GCQ until Nov. 30 - Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that Metro Manila's 12 million people would remain under general community quarantine, the third strictest of 4 lockdown levels, until Nov. 30, even as authorities sought to revive the pandemic-battered economy.

Batangas, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Lanao del Sur will also be under GCQ from Nov. 1 to 30, he said in a taped speech aired Tuesday.

Mayors of Metro Manila earlier urged to keep the GCQ status next month.
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Metro Manila, which accounts for about a third of the gross domestic product, has been under GCQ since August.

The trade department recently allowed some businesses in GCQ areas to operate at full capacity.
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The Philippines is forecast to see a 6.9 percent economic contraction this year, the World Bank has said, the biggest since the 1980s and worse than the government's projected 5.5 percent decline.

Its recovery has been constrained by an unrelenting first wave of infections since March, with more than 370,000 cases, limiting its ability to fully reopen businesses, and restart domestic and international tourism.

The health department on Monday recorded 1,607 new coronavirus infections and 62 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the agency said total confirmed cases had increased to 371,630, while deaths had reached 7,039. The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

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