Lotto sales resume in MECQ areas

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MANILA – The selling of tickets of lotto jackpot-bearing games will resume in areas under modified emergency community quarantine (MECQ), Malacañang announced on Thursday night.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) issued Resolution No. 115 allowing the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and its authorized agents to resume selling of lotto jackpot-bearing games.

“The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and its authorized agents, may resume the authority to sell Lotto, Keno, Scratch-It, and Small Town Lottery Tickets nationwide even during MECQ. For this purpose, Section 3(5)(f) of the Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, as amended, shall be suspended in part relative only to lottery and betting shops. All other industries, establishments, and activities enumerated therein shall remain on the negative list,” the resolution read.

PCSO is directed to ensure strict compliance to health and safety protocols and the observance of minimum public health standards.

Under the same resolution, the IATF allowed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to conduct in-person assessments for household service workers (HSWs) in areas under MECQ.

However, the conduct of the activity is subject to conditions, such as in-person assessments shall be held only in TESDA Training Institutions and in-person assessments remain prohibited in private assessment centers.

In addition, in-persons assessments shall only be limited for HSWs ready for deployment, meaning, they must have contracts and visas.

Applicants must further abide by TESDA guidelines relative to the conduct of in-person assessments.

The IATF likewise allowed the resumption of Career Executive Service Written Examinations and Assessment Centers by the Career Executive Service Board, subject to health and safety protocols and the strict observance of the minimum public health standards.

President Duterte has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, also known as or “NCR Plus” under general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions” from May 15 to 31.

Apart from NCR Plus, the quarantine classification in Abra was also downgraded from MECQ to GCQ.

The MECQ status was retained in the City of Santiago in Isabela, Zamboanga City, Quirino, and Ifugao.

He said the four areas would remain under MECQ until the end of May following local governments’ concerns over the spike in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) within their localities.

GCQ is imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, and Puerto Princesa City until May 31.

The rest of the country remains under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ) for the whole month of May

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