Metro Manila COVID-19 Lockdown Guide

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The Philippine government announced Thursday night that Metro Manila would be put on lockdown or community quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Many were confused about the term “community quarantine” that President Rodrigo Duterte used.

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“Community quarantine is hereby imposed in the entirety of Metro Manila,” the President said based on a resolution by the task force composed of the secretaries of health, interior, justice, tourism, labor, and foreign affairs.

However, he eventually referred to community quarantine as a lockdown.

“It’s a lockdown. There is no struggle of power here… It’s just a matter of protecting and defending you from COVID-19,” Duterte said in a public address to the Filipino nation.

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But how is Metro Manila’s lockdown different from that of China’s or Italy? Here is a guide on how would the lockdown following the guidelines for the Code Alert System for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Code Red Sublevel 2.

Metro Manila COVID-19 Lockdown Guide

  • Suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila is extended until April 12, 2020, with students remaining in their respective homes for the said duration.
  • Mass gatherings, defined as events where the number of people attending could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event, shall be prohibited during the period above.
  • Community quarantine is imposed in the entire Metro Manila. Local Government Units (LGUs) in other areas are advised to abide by the following guidelines:
    • A barangay-wide quarantine is recommended when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different households in the same barangay;
    • A municipality/city-wide quarantine is recommended when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases on different barangays in the same municipality/city;
    • A province-wide quarantine is recommended when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to various municipalities, component cities or independent component cities in the same province; and
    • LGUs, which have imposed community quarantine in their respective jurisdiction/s, upon the declaration of a State of Calamity, shall be allowed to access their Quick Response Fund.

Are government offices open?

  • Work in the Executive Branch shall be suspended during the same period, without prejudice to the formation of skeletal workforces by government agencies. The Congress and the Judiciary are encouraged to adopt the same policy.
  • Law enforcement agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, as well as health and emergency frontline services, shall continue in full operation.

Also read: DOH Guidelines for Self-Quarantine

Would stores and service establishments close?

  • Flexible work arrangements shall likewise be encouraged in the private sector, following guidelines from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry designed to safeguard the welfare of the workers.
  • All manufacturing, retail, and service establishments shall remain in operation during the same period, provided that strict social distancing measures are observed.

Are private vehicles still allowed to go in and out of Metro Manila?

  • Mass public transports, such as the Light Rail Transits, the Metro Rail Transits, and the Philippine National Railway shall continue in operation, following guidelines by the Department of Transportation intended to ensure social distancing.
  • Land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended beginning March 15, 2020, 00:00H until April 14, 2020, 23:59H

Government officials said Friday that people working inside Metro Manila but are living outside of it and vice versa are still allowed to enter and exit provided that they will show a company ID as proof.

Security forces and local government units would meet today to create detailed guidelines on how to implement the community lockdown in Metro Manila.

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