The IATF has approved the implementation of granular lockdown system starting September 8 to be piloted in the National Capital Region while rest of the country will be placed under four levels of general community quarantine, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

The new granular lockdown system will be implemented as the modified enhanced community quarantine status in the capital region ends on September 7.

Lopez said that an official announcement will be made by the government adding there will be 4 quarantine levels that be observed. Guidelines are being finalized to be issued before Sept. 7, he said.

What is important is that only areas considered to be hot spot are placed under hard lockdown or granular lockdown system while other areas are allowed to open. This means only pockets of the population are placed on strict lockdown.

Lopez, however, cautioned that this new granular lockdown does not mean full opening of the economic sectors and activities or “back to normal”, as there will still be limits to operating capacity.

All the minimum public health standards, like wearing of face masks, face shields and proper ventilation of areas must be strictly observed.

On the mobility of APORs (authorized persons outside of residence), Lopez said that suggestions are still be discussed including employers providing their lodging arrangements so they can still continue working.

For instance, if a hot spot occurred in a manufacturing plant only that facility will be placed under lockdown. If one household is infected only the street or the neighboring households or one subdivision may be placed on a lockdown for say 14 days.

He said the government has been implementing this granular lockdown but this time it will be more finetuned, specific, and hopefully more effective in controlling the spread of the virus.

Establishments may be allowed to operate 20-30-or 50 percent operating capacity depending on the level of quarantine in a particular area.

Under this new system, Lopez expects more establishments can reopen and more workers can return to work.

Source: Manila Bulletin (