LIST: Businesses allowed to open under general community quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2020   •   4182

MANILA, Philippines – Some business establishments will soon be allowed to open under a relaxed form of community quarantine as the Philippine government seeks to soften the economic losses brought about by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

In the guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), it listed the industries, and establishments that can open, as well as activities that may resume under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

The business sectors that will be allowed to operate with minimum health standards under GCQ starting May 1 are the following:

  • Manufacturing activities involving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; cement and steel; electrical machinery; wood products; furniture; non-metallic products; textiles or wearing apparels; tobacco products; paper and paper products; rubber and plastic products; coke and refined petroleum products; other non-metallic mineral products; computer, electronic and optical products; electrical equipment; machinery and equipment; motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; other transport equipment; and others
  • Malls and commercial centers: hardware stores, clothing and accessories, and non-leisure stores
  • Barbershops, salon, spas, and other personal care industries with strict health standards
  • Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
  • Forestry and logging
  • Publishing activities
  • Motion picture, video and television program production, sound recording and music publishing activities
  • Advertising and market research
  • Real estate activities, except buying and selling
  • Office administrative, office support, and other business activities
  • Legal and accounting
  • Insurance, reinsurance, and pension funding, except compulsory social security
  • Architecture and engineering activities, technical testing and analysis
  • Scientific and research development
  • Other professional, scientific and technical activities
  • Social work activities without accommodation
  • Government frontline offices: all offices will be allowed to open

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that all government offices will be allowed to open under the GCQ to serve the public.

Other business sectors will also be permitted to operate but are directed to implement safety and sanitization measures to ensure the health and protection of their employees as previously emphasized by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Meanwhile, businesses that will remain closed under GCQ and enhanced community quarantine are the following:

  • Gyms, fitness studios and sports facilities
  • Entertainment-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to: theaters, cinemas, large concerts, festivals, carnivals, conventions, shows, pubs, bars
  • Business-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to: trade shows, conferences, conventions, workshops, retreats
  • Politically-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to: election rallies, polling centers, parades, speeches, addresses
  • Sports-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to: trainings, games, tournaments, championships
  • Libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural activities
  • Gambling and betting activities
  • Travel agency, tour operator, reservation service and related activities
  • Activities of membership organizations

Roque, however, stressed that this list is still being finalized. The IATF will be meeting on Wednesday on the matter.

Universities and colleges in GCQ areas may also be allowed to operate under a skeleton workforce by May 4 but to only formally conclude the Academic Year 2019-2020, issue credentials to students, and prepare flexible learning arrangements for the next academic year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

MECQ in Lanao del Sur, GCQ in Metro Manila, five other areas starting October 1

Marje Pelayo   •   September 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Starting Thursday (October 1), new quarantine classifications will take effect across the country and will remain for a duration of one month, as announced by President Rodrigo Duterte in his late night public address Monday (September 28).

The President approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force to place under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) areas in the province of Lanao del Sur including Marawi City from October 1 to 31. 

Meanwhile, six areas in the country will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) after the end of September.

These include Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban City, Bacolod City, Iligan City and Iloilo City.

The rest of the country will be placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

The President said he is pleased with how the local governments are responding to the crisis brought about by coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He reiterated the national government’s readiness to respond and continue its services especially in the face of a pandemic despite the criticisms.

Mga kababayan ko, wag kayong masyadong maniwala diyan sa mga atake-atake (My countrymen, don’t listen to the attacks too much). It would just muddle up your mind,” he said.

Nandito kami (We are here). Our purpose is to serve and to work, if we cannot serve, and if we cannot work, then we might as well get out of the government as ask somebody else to take over,” the president concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

IATF to study mayors’ bid to retain Metro Manila under GCQ after Sept. 30 – Año

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Most mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) are in favor of extending the general community quarantine (GCQ) being implemented in the region, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.

Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will meet on Sunday, Sept. 27 to discuss the recommendation of the Metro Manila Council on the next quarantine status in NCR by October.

“Maraming mga mayors ng NCR ang gusto pa rin mag-GCQ pero depende pa rin sa usapan sa Sunday,” he said.

Metro Manila is under GCQ until Sept. 30 as earlier recommended by the IATF and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Año said they will thoroughly discuss the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal in order to balance the factors of public health and economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dalawa ‘yan: mahigpit na MGCQ o maluwag na GCQ. Kapag titignan mo mas maganda talaga na naka-GCQ tayo kahit magluwag ka ng konti pero meron kang talagang mas mataaas na panuntunan kaysa yung nag MGCQ ka pagkatapos hihigpitan mo,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that Metro Manila could be placed under modified GCQ as this would allow the reopening of more industries to help revive the economy.

The IATF is also set to meet with Duterte on Sunday night to discuss the next quarantine classifications in NCR. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Facility-based isolation for asymptomatic, mild COVID-19 cases now mandatory

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is now requiring facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases through IATF Resolution 74.

The new policy however, exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities and their home meets the conditions specified in the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Administrative Order 2020-0001. 

Likewise, another exception is when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

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