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Philippines to ease lockdown as hunger and unemployment surge

More businesses and mass transportation set for gradual restart in June

Workers wait for a ride as some businesses reopen despite limited public transportation on May 18 in Quezon, a city in Metro Manila.   © Reuters

MANILA -- The Philippines will ease the country's lockdown starting Monday after more than two months of strict quarantine measures that officials say slowed the spread of the coronavirus, but which left millions of people jobless and hungry.

In a televised speech Thursday night, President Rodrigo Duterte said Metropolitan Manila, the capital region and economic engine, will be downgraded to a "general community quarantine" in June from the current "enhanced" quarantine.

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