Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has announced another two-week extension of general community quarantine (GCQ) measures in Metro Manila, pushing the closure of casinos and integrated resorts throughout the city into a fourth month.
According to a televised announcement late Monday, the decision to extend was based on recommendations by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and concerns over critical health care capacity.
Duterte has also ordered Cebu City to be escalated back to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to a growing number of new cases in the area.
“The increasing number of new cases and widespread community transmission in [the] majority of barangays in the city, as well as consistent case doubling time of less than seven days and significant increase in critical care utilization against critical care capacity, were the reasons cited why Cebu City reverted back to ECQ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
This latest two-week extension for Metro manila comes just a week after Andrea Domingo, the Chairman and CEO of gaming regulator PAGCOR, stated during a keynote speech at ICE Asia Digital and SiGMA Focus Asia that she wanted casinos reopened “in June or at the very latest in July.” Domingo cited a need to “maintain the employment of 132,000 direct hires of the gaming industry” and to generate tax revenue to fight COVID-19 as key reasons for reopening.
PAGCOR previously revealed to Inside Asian Gaming that it had submitted an appeal to relaunch casinos in May but was waiting on approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force.
Manila’s casinos have been closed since 15 March.