Entire PH not yet ready for Alert Level 1 – Duque

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, it is not yet appropriate for the entire country to de-escalate to Alert Level 1 because numerous places have yet to meet the Inter-Agency Task Force’s parameters (IATF).

Duque made the remark in response to the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) request on Monday to raise the country’s alert level to 1 and reopen schools for face-to-face instruction “to increase domestic economy and offset global risk.”


“Hindi pa ngayon. Masyado pang…ayaw nating mawaldas natin ‘yung ating mga napagtagumpayan na. Kailangan magi-ingat tayo. Pasensya na, kasi ako talaga ‘yung prinsipyo ko sa buhay ‘yung laging mas prudent at mas conservative,” Duque said in an interview with Dobol B TV.

(Not now. We don’t want to lose what we have already won. We need to be careful. I’m sorry, because my principle in life is always to be more prudent and more conservative.)

According to the health chief, the country’s de-escalation to Alert Level 1 is still the goal. However, all areas must first meet the revised parameters for shifting to the lowest level under the new alert level system.


“Ayun naman talaga ang ating layunin. Sa bandang huli ayaw na nating mag-widespread lockdowns kasi ang laking dagok nito sa ekonomiya natin. Nakita naman natin na sumadsad,” he added.

Entire PH not yet ready for Alert Level 1 – Duque

(That is our goal. But, in the end, we don’t want to have widespread lockdowns because it has a significant impact on our economy. We really saw how the economy dropped.)

Former presidential spokesperson and IATF co-chair Karlo Nograles previously stated that areas would only be shifted to Alert Level 1 if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • low to minimal risk case classification
  •  bed utilization rate of less than 50%
  • full vaccination of 70% of its target population (denominator is 80% of its total population)
  • full vaccination of 80% of its Priority Group A2 (senior citizens) or target population (denominator is 85% of A2 population).

Only the National Capital Region and 38 other locations across the country are currently under Alert Level 1 from March 1 to March 15.

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