It’s not a phone. It’s not a brand of milk. It’s the government trying to be creative… and ending up making people laugh.

Following the recent surge of COVID cases in the country, the government decided to impose stricter quarantine measures in a bubble that consists of NCR and nearby provinces. National Task Force vs. COVID-19 Restituto Padilla referred to this bubble as “NCR Plus.”

Starting today, March 22, until April 4, areas within Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will be placed under the new quarantine rules. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the government expects at least a 25-percent drop in COVID-19 cases as a result of its 2-week implementation.

Under the new rules, only essential travel in and out of NCR Plus will be allowed. In this case, they will be required to present their ID at checkpoints. However, those who reside in the bubble are permitted to travel within it.

No one in the bubble is allowed to hold and attend mass gatherings, even the ones done for religious purposes. Baptisms, funeral weddings, weddings, are permitted but only at a 10-person capacity.

Restaurants are allowed to continue operation but limited only to take-out services. Al Fresco dining, however, is allowed but only at a 30-50 percent on-site capacity. The same capacity limit applies to workplaces, including government offices.

While public transportation will not be changed, everyone is still encouraged to wear face masks and face shields. Curfew will be implemented from 10 pm to 5 am.

As usual, people on the internet have yet again found themselves resorting to humor as a way of coping with their frustrations over the country’s handling of the pandemic. Their target, this time, is the government’s interesting choice of words that gave birth to NCR Plus.

“Tightened Lockdown? Circuit Break your day with NCR PLUS w/ Soft and Hard Granular Bubbles!” Said the famous internet comic artist Tarantadong Kalbo.

Local meme page PGAG pointed out how unnecessary it was to call it NCR Plus, because there already exists a term for this group of places called Greater Manila Area.

Filipino online magazine Scoutmag also poked fun at the newest member of the government’s pandemic terms.

Some Twitter users also noticed how NCR Plus sounds more like a phone model.

On Sunday, the Philippines recorded an all-time high of 7,757 new cases, marking the third day the country has breached the 7k mark. As of writing, the country has tallied a total of 663,794 infections, with 73,072 active cases, 12,968 fatalities, and 577,754 recoveries.

Thoughts on NCR Plus? Tell us in the comments below!

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