After discussions with health officials and members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metro Manila will be placed under Community Quarantine and that stringent social distancing measures will be implemented for thirty (30) days in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Guidelines for NCR’s Community Quarantine for 30 Days
Suspension of Classes
The suspension of classes in all levels within NCR has been extended until April 12, 2020. Students are then encouraged to stay in their respective homes for this duration.
Mass gatherings shall be prohibited during the community quarantine period especially that the number of attendees could strain the planning and response resources of the event host.
Private Sector Work Arrangement
The president encouraged the private sector to implement flexible work arrangements while strictly following guidelines set by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the safety and welfare of employees.
Moreover, establishments that manufacture goods, sell products in retail or provide services shall continue operations while strictly implementing social distancing measures. This include factories, restaurants, stores, offices, and banks.
The following public transports shall continue to operate provided that guidelines on social distancing from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will be strictly implemented:
- Light Rail Transits (LRT)
- Metro Rail Transits (MRT)
- Philippine National Railway (PNR)
Starting 12 AM of March 15, 2020 until 11:59 PM of April 14, 2020, travel by land, air (domestic), and sea (domestic) to and from Metro Manila are suspended.
Checkpoints will then be placed along the boundaries of Metro Manila with the following guidelines and exceptions:
- Workers who live outside NCR and cannot work from home will be allowed to move in and out as long as they provide company IDs.
- Buses will continue to serve workers who live outside NCR, provided that these public utility buses and private vehicles go through the checkpoints.
- Owners of businesses within Metro Manila will be allowed to come in.
- Cargoes, both food and nonfood, are allowed to go move to and from Metro Manila
On the other hand, DTI Sec. Mon Lopez said that international travel is okay with requirements to be stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Entry travel restrictions will also be imposed upon people traveling from countries with localized COVID-19 transmissions with the following exceptions :
- Filipino citizens and their foreign spouse and children (if any)
- permanent resident visa holders
- diplomatic visa (issued by the Philippine Government) holders
For Balik-Manggagawa Overseas Filipino Workers, the President approved of their travel to mainland China, except to Hubei Province, upon execution of a declaration signifying their awareness and understanding of the risks involved. Health advisory pamphlets will also be provided to the OFWs upon their departure.
Work in the Executive Branch
Work in the Executive Branch shall be suspended during the quarantine period, but not including skeletal workforces to be formed by government agencies. Congress and Judiciary are encouraged to do implement this too.
On the other hand, the following agencies will continue with their operations:
- Law enforcement agencies
- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
- Philippine National Police (PNP)
- Health and emergency frontline services
Guidelines for Local Government Units (LGUs) in other areas
For Local Government Units (LGUs) in areas outside Metro Manila, President Duterte provided guidelines to be followed for the implementation of quarantine:
1. Barangay-wide quarantine
This level of quarantine is advised when a barangay has recorded at least two (2) positive cases of COVID-19 belonging to different households.
2. Municipality-wide quarantine
This is advised when a municipality has at least two (2) positive cases of COVID-19 belonging to different barangays in the same municipality.
3. Province-wide quarantine
A province is advised to implement this when it has at least two (2) positive cases of COVID-19 belonging to different municipalities, component cities or independent component cities.
Upon declaring a State of Calamity, LGUs that will impose community quarantine in the respective jurisdiction/s shall be allowed to make use of their Quick Response Fund.
All the guidelines set and mentioned above, are subject to the IATF’s daily monitoring and assessment.
source: Public Information Office – Baguio