Measures continue to roll as community quarantine covers entire Luzon Island

Marje Pelayo   •   March 18, 2020   •   1364

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (March 16) announced enhancements on community quarantine which covers the entire Luzon Island.

“It will be an enhanced quarantine, during which the movement of everyone will be significantly limited,” the President said.

“Work in public and private sectors shall be limited to a work-at-home arrangement,” he added.

The enhanced community quarantine, which has taken effect at 12:01 am on Tuesday (March 17) orders strict observation of social distancing measures following the sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Under the Enhanced Community Quarantine and the Stringent Social Distancing Measures over the entire Luzon Island, the following shall be strictly implemented:

  • No classes until April 14, 2020
  • No mass gatherings
  • Households under strict home quarantine (only one person may be allowed access to basic necessities)
  • Regulated provisions on food and essential health services
  • Increased military and police presence
  • Suspended mass public transport
  • Restricted land, air and sea travel
    • Inbound passengers who are allowed to enter Luzon (subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions)
      • International passengers, in transit
      • Filipino citizens including foreign spouse and children
      • Holders of Permanent Resident Visa
      • Diplomats
  • Transport of medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to the COVID-19, and other humanitarian assistance is allowed
  • Open establishments (with assigned skeletal force under strict social distancing one-meter protocol)
    • public markets
    • convenience stores
    • hospitals
    • medical clinics
    • pharmacies and drug stores
    • food preparation and delivery services
    • water-refilling stations
    • manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines
    • banks
    • money transfer services
    • power, energy, water, and telecommunications supplies and facilities
    • Business Process Outsourcing establishments and export-oriented industries; skeletal workforce must be provided with temporary accommodation
  • Media personnel shall be allowed to travel within the quarantine area provided they have PCOO media pass.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have been ordered to coordinate with various agencies and create a program that will provide assistance to affected employees and residents of Luzon.

The President also ordered DSWD to ensure that the delivery of food assistance will be unhampered.

President Duterte warned offenders of facing sanctions as the implementation of such strict measures is crucial to the safety of the Filipino public.

“Obey the police and the military. Do not quarrel with them and do not start ruckus that would amount to a violation because you will be arrested and brought to prison — disobedience of authority then acts of public disturbance,” he said. “You can be arrested. Sumunod lang kayo at wala tayong problema (Just follow the rules and we will have no problem),” he concluded.

The above measures are subject to daily review and study of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) until such time that the risk of coronavirus disease subsides. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Manila, Muntinlupa cut curfew hours

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2020

The cities of Manila and Muntinlupa on Tuesday (June 16) announced they will shorten their curfew hours.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso adjusted the city’s curfew hours from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am as the restrictions for business operations eases. The previous schedule was set from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa City will impose a new curfew schedule which will be from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi approved City Ordinance 2020-102 which will also impose penalties to curfew violators.

The ordinance also states that Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) and those whose work involves delivery of essential goods and services are exempted in the curfew.

First-time violators will have a penalty of P500 while penalty will increase to P1,000 for succeeding offenses. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

150 locally stranded individuals in Metro Manila to be sent home to their provinces

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 15, 2020

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will bring 150 locally stranded individuals (LSI) in Metro Manila to their hometowns in Davao and General Santos City on June 15.

Namraiga Nasir is one of the 200 LSIs staying in temporary shelters near Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Namraiga also said she even stayed along the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expressway so she is very grateful to be able to return home.

“Sa tinagal-tagal po ng araw, nakatira pa po kami sa may tulay, so ngayon po ito na po iyong chance na makakauwi na rin po kami (For the longest — we even stayed under the bridge — we now have a chance to go home),” she said.

According to the PCG, 150 LSIs boarded the BRP Gabriela Silang en route to Davao and General Santos City.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) calls on the LSIs to coordinate with their respective barangays for the department to manage how they can assist in their repatriation.

“Para makita natin kung paano natin ima-manage ang pagpapauwi sa kanila. Huwag kayong mag-atubili na lumapit sa inyong mga barangay dahil ito po ang kanilang direktiba upang makuha natin iyong eksaktong bilang, (For us to see how we can manage their repatriation. Don’t hesitate to coordinate with your barangays because this has been their directive so that we can determine the exact numbers),” according to DOTr Asec. Eymard Eje. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

IATF considers possible 2nd wave of COVID-19 if quarantine restrictions are relaxed

Marje Pelayo   •   June 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 is carefully considering the statistics of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and the critical capacity both in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

Data shows COVID-19 cases in both metropolises remain high despite government-imposed quarantine measures.

The IATF will use this information to craft its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte on whether or not to further downgrade restrictions from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. 

According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the national government is taking into consideration a possible second wave of infection should it relax quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Makikita natin na talagang Manila as the epicenter ay medyo mabilis pa ang pagkalat ng sakit, (We noticed a rapid spread of [COVID-19] in Metro Manila being the epicenter),” noted Roque.

Ang inaasahan po natin na sa lahat ng parte ng bansa ay either pupunta na sa MGCQ o papunta na sa new normal. Pero dito sa Metro Manila, masusing pag-aaral po ng datos ang inaasahan natin (We were expecting that all areas in the country would be shifting to MGCQ or toward the new normal. But here in Metro Manila, we are expecting a thorough analysis of the data)” he added.

Roque stressed the importance of the public’s strict compliance with health protocols such as social distancing, wearing of face masks and maintaining good health.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also made a similar appeal to business owners who were allowed to reopen. 

Importante po kasi sa pagbabalik ay iyong pagsunod dito sa health protocol, (During resumption of businesses, practice of this health protocol is very important),” he noted.

As long as masunod ito, sigurado pong malilimitahan iyong mga transmission na ating inaalala (As long as these protocols are observed, the transmissions that we fear will be controlled),” he added.

Roque said President Duterte is expected to meet with the IATF on Monday (June 15), where the government is expected to decide on the quarantine measures in place. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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