President Rodrigo Duterte returned to his hometown of Davao City on Saturday, his spokesman said, as Metro Manila eased its COVID-19 lockdown into a modified enhanced community quarantine.
It was the first time for the President to return home since the lockdown was enforced in March, halting transport and restricting movement in the capital region. He had spent his 75th birthday under quarantine in Malacañang in March.
“He is in Davao after more than 2 months of not being able to see his family,” Presidential Security Group chief Col. Jesus Durante III told ABS-CBN News.
The President made the trip early Saturday as Tropical Storm Ambo lashed Luzon and left at least 1 dead in Quezon after initially making landfall as a typhoon in Eastern Samar.
Duterte will join next week’s meeting of government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, Durante said.
Metro Manila, Laguna, and 6 areas in Central Luzon were placed under modified ECQ from Saturday, while the cities of Cebu and Mandaue remain on strict lockdown to contain the pandemic following appeal from local officials.
All other areas in the country are under general community quarantine or GCQ, that would allow almost all industries to operate up to 75 percent except amusement and those with mass gatherings.