The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) as well as local government units to close down non-essential business establishments amid the extended ECQ.
“Make sure that business establishments that are not allowed to operate under IATF guidelines remain closed. The ECQ is still in full force and effect,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a press statement.
“There is no partial lifting whatsoever. Our country will heal as one if and only if the government, the private sector, and the people stick to the strict enforcement of ECQ,” he added.
Año said they had received reports that some non-essential commercial establishments have opened in some areas.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 2020-062, LGUs are mandated to ensure that businesses establishment providing or manufacturing necessities such as food, medicine, water, banking and remittance centers, power, energy, telecommunication, and the like are allowed to operate.
Also read: Metro Manila COVID-19 Lockdown Guide
“In all such establishments allowed to operate, the LGUs must monitor to ensure the operation of a skeletal workforce only, as well as strict social distancing measures,” the memorandum stated.
The DILG reminded the public that the police are authorized to arrest those who will not follow the memorandum.
“Nasa gitna tayo ng [we are in the middle of] state of public health emergency at kalamidad [calamity]. Ang mga pasaway ay maaaring arestuhin sa paglabag as [violators would be arrested for violating] Article 151 ng Revised Penal Code (RPC). The law punishes resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person,” Año said.
Año warned the penalty for violating Article 151 of the RPC is arresto mayor, or imprisonment of one month and one day to six months, and a fine not exceeding P100,000.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice earlier said any violation during the ECQ might also be punishable under Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
Prohibited acts under the law include “non-cooperation of persons and entities that should report and/or respond to notifiable diseases or health events of public concern.”
Violators could be imprisoned for not more than six months or pay a fine of not more than P50,000.