LIST: Businesses allowed to open under general community quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2020   •   3262

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)

Government to formulate common ordinance on face masks for LGUs

Marje Pelayo   •   July 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The national government is formulating a common ordinance on wearing face masks to be imposed by all local government units (LGU) across the country.

This was among the issues discussed at a recent meeting between the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Council of Metro Manila Mayors.

The said ordinance will set guidelines for law enforcers on accosting violators.

Iminumungkahi na po na magkaroon ng common ordinance para magpataw po ng parusa sa mga taong hindi nagsusuot ng masks sa mga pampublikong lugar (There have been proposals for a common ordinance to penalize individuals who refuse to wear a mask in public places) ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Magkakaroon po iyan ng common ordinance, (There will be a common ordinance),” he assured.

The plan was prompted by an incident where journalist Howie Severino, a COVID-19 survivor, was accosted by authorities after pulling down his mask to take a drink during an early morning bicycle ride in Quezon City.

The city implements Ordinance No. 2936 which requires the use of face masks or other face-covering when in public places. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

IATF expands services in salons, barbershops amid COVID-19 pandemic

Maris Federez   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 has expanded the services allowed in salons and barbershops in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Aside from haircut services, hair treatments are now allowed in salons under the GCQ areas; while nail care, basic facial care services, and basic personal care services will be allowed in areas under MGCQ.

Nevertheless, minimum public health standards will be strictly implemented in both GCQ and MGCQ areas, such as strict protocol on hand sanitation, face mask and face shields, gloves, and sterilized equipment.

The operating capacity in salons and barbershops will also be expanded to 50 percent in GCQ areas and 75 percent in MGCQ areas starting July 16, 2020. —(with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

Religious gatherings up to 10% of venue capacity to be allowed in GCQ areas after July 10 – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday announced that religious gatherings involving attendees of up to 10% of the venue capacity will soon be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is based on the latest resolution approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases following calls for the partial reopening of places of worship.

Roque said the new policy will take effect next Friday, July 10.

“Magkakaroon muna po tayo ng dry run na 10% itong darating na linggo, pero yung 10% po na allowed na ang lahat ay magsisimula po ng July 10,” he said in a televised press briefing.

The Palace official stressed that public health standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face mask, disinfection and hand hygiene, should be strictly followed.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that the following areas will be under GCQ from July 1 to July 15:

  • National Capital Region
  • Cavite
  • Benguet
  • Rizal
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Talisay City
  • Towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu Province
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte

Roque also announced that operation of travel agencies in GCQ areas will also be allowed but only limited to a skeleton workforce.

The Department of Trade and Industry will also release a set of guidelines on additional services that will be allowed in salons and barbershops.

The latest IATF resolution also states that practice and conditioning sessions for professional basketball and football teams will also be permitted.

Roque said the move comes after a joint administrative order was signed between the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board, and the Department of Health to allow limited physical activities amid the community quarantine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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