METRO MANILA will remain under a general community quarantine (GCQ) category until the end of September where public transport and most industries are allowed to operate at limited capacities, the government announced late Monday evening.

In his talk to the nation aired on state television, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said the capital, along with two provinces in Luzon and two cities in the Visayas, will be under the GCQ level.

Ang areas ng NCR (National Capital Region), Batangas, Bulacan, Tacloban, Bacolod ay nasa (will be under) general community quarantine,” he said.

Iligan City in Northern Mindanao is the sole area in the country which will be placed under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine after it recorded a spike in coronavirus cases in recent days.

The rest of the country will be under the more loose modified general community quarantine.

The new quarantine classifications will last until end-September, consistent with Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez’ announcement earlier on Monday that the government plans to implement month-long community quarantines instead of changing the classifications every 14 days.

The Philippines, first placed under strict lockdown in mid-March, has one of the longest and most rigid quarantine measures in the world.

It has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases among southeast Asian countries, recording over 220,000 as of Aug. 31. — Gillian M. Cortez