MANILA - The inter-agency task force (IATF) leading the country's pandemic response banned public transport for some 3.7 million residents in Cavite province during its return to the second strictest lockdown level, contrary to the wishes of the local government, Governor Jonvic Remulla said Wednesday.
Remulla announced Tuesday that all modes of public transport could operate to serve factories and essential workers.
However, the IATF ordered the Cavite police to strictly enforce the ban on public transport, the governor said in a Facebook post titled "Overruled."
Remulla said he would respect the task force's "very unwise decision" even if it would hit the manufacturing industry of Calabarzon region's most populous province.
"Sa aking mga kababayan, ako po ay humihingi ng paumanhin (I apologize to my compatriots)," he said. "I tried my best to serve your interest, as well as the Province and the Country. Unfortunately, the people in charge see things differently."
Cavite, Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon will be under MECQ or modified enhanced community quarantine until Aug. 18 to arrest the spread of COVID-19, cases of which surged past 100,000 this weekend.
For the next 2 weeks, public transport will be halted and domestic flights grounded.
People have been ordered to stay home unless they need to buy essential goods or exercise outdoors.
Only a limited number of businesses will be allowed to operate and restaurants will be permitted to serve only take-aways.
The MECQ declaration comes after 80 medical associations representing tens of thousands of doctors on Saturday called for Duterte to tighten virus restrictions as hospitals, unable to cope with the influx of patients, turned people away.
With a report from Agence France-Presse