Metro Manila and most parts of the country will remain under the lowest Alert Level classification during the upcoming May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections.
This after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) issued its Resolution No. 167-A (s.2022) last Thurs., which updated its list of alert levels nationwide.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin M. Andanar said the new list will be in effect from May 1 to 15, 2022.
Aside from the National Capital Region (NCR), the following areas will also be placed under under Alert Level 1 during the same period: For Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region: Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Baguio City; Region 1: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and Dagupan City; Region 2: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, and City of Santiago; Region 3: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Angeles City, and Olongapo City; Region 4-A: Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Lucena City; Region 4-B: Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, and Puerto Princesa City; and Region 5: Albay, Catanduanes, Naga City.
For the Visayas, Region 6: Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo Province, Bacolod City, and Iloilo City; Region 7: Siquijor, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City; and Region 8: Biliran, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Ormoc City, and Tacloban City.
In Mindanao, the Alert Level 1 areas are Region 9: Zamboanga City; Region 10: Camiguin, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, and Iligan City; Region 11: Davao City; and CARAGA: Surigao del Sur and Butuan City.
Business establishments and public transportations in areas under Alert Level 1 are allowed to operate at 100 percent capacity.
According, the IATF Secretariat the new resolution now brings the total number of whole provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), and independent component cities (ICCs) under Alert Level 1 to 77.
“Counting by cities (including HUCs and ICCs) and municipalities, we have 944 (57.77%) of the total 1,634 cities/municipalities in Alert Level 1,” the IATF Secretariat said.
IATF came out with the updated alert level list even after a case of the Omicron BA.2.12 subvariant, which the Department of Health (DOH) said contributed to more infections in other countries.
The Commission on Election (Comelec), however, earlier said it has prepared the necessary contingencies such as the strict implementation of minimum health standards in voting centers to ensure the risk of infection during the 2022 polls will be minimized.
Health experts noted that the elections can become a “super spreader” event and cause an increase in active novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) active cases by the middle of May.
IATF Resolution 167-A also placed the following provinces, HUCs and ICCs under Alert Level 2: For Luzon: Cordillera Administrative Region: Benguet, Ifugao; Region 2: Nueva Vizcaya; Region 4-A: Quezon Province; Region 4-B: Occidental Mindoro and Palawan; and Region 5: Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, and Sorsogon.
For the Visayas, Region 6: Antique and Negros Occidental; Region 7: Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental; and Region 8: Leyte, Northern Samar and Western Samar.
For Mindanao, Region 9: City of Isabela, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay; Region 10: Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental; Region 11: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro and Davao Occidental; Region 12: General Santos City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato; CARAGA: Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte; and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Basilan, Cotabato City, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Business operations and public movement in areas under Alert Level 2 are more limited compared to those under Alert Level 1.
Image credits: AP/Aaron Favila