Iloilo City ready for ‘new normal’


While the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has yet to announce the new quarantine status of the region, Mayor Jerry Treñas is confident that Iloilo City and the rest of Western Visayas will slide to the so-called “new normal” on June 16.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the quarantine status of the regions in the country today, June 15.

Compared to other regions, Treñas believes that the coronavirus disease crisis in the region has already been controlled to a certain extent. (

All provinces and highly urbanized cities in Western Visayas are under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) from June 1 to June 15, 2020, based on Resolution No. 41 of the IATF.

Before this, Iloilo City was classified as moderate-risk and should have been placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). But the mayor appealed the classification to join the rest of Western Visayas under MGCQ.

The IATF then took back its previous announcement and classified the entire Western Visayas as low-risk and placed it under MGCQ.

The MGCQ status allowed practically all business establishments to operate at a 50 percent capacity provided they observe minimum health standards like physical distancing.

Religious activities were allowed but at a limited capacity. All airports and seaports in the region remain closed and only cater to returning overseas Filipino workers, locally stranded individuals, and cargos.

Treñas said that he and the other local chief executives in Western Visayas have already been preparing for the new policies to be implemented after June 15.

They all agreed to allow interisland travel of sea vessels and fast crafts from Bacolod City and Negros Occidental by June 16, according to him.

The mayor also said they will also focus on the economic recovery of the region following massive losses that it incurred amid the crisis.

Treñas added that the city is also gearing towards boosting its testing capacity especially once it slides down to the new normal.