MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte may decide this week on whether to lift, extend or modify the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being enforced over Luzon, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is no definite answer yet on the fate of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine which will lapse on April 30.
However, he said that the chief executive will likely decide on the matter soon to give ample time for authorities and the public to prepare.
“Kinakailangang magdesisyon ang presidente ngayong linggong ito dahil anuman ang maging desisyon niya, kinakailangang paghandaan ang implementasyon,” Roque said in a virtual press briefing.
The Palace official said Duterte is meeting with medical experts to get their recommendations and basis amid the COVID-19 crisis.
He will also discuss the matter with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
Duterte earlier threatened to impose a martial law-like quarantine measure if the public continues to disobey safety and health protocols against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The IATF also reiterated it is still discussing possible scenarios and its game plan for post-ECQ, and denied rumors the quarantine will be extended until May.
The Palace likewise dismissed as fake news a viral voice clip which warned about a possible declaration of martial law-type lockdown this week.
The quarantine over Luzon has been in place since March 15 and it is due to end on April 30.
Under this measure, public transport operations are halted, classes and work in some offices are suspended, and only essential workers are allowed to go out of their homes while the rest are ordered to stay inside their residences. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (March 16) announced enhancements on community quarantine which covers the entire Luzon Island.
“It will be an enhanced quarantine, during which the movement of everyone will be significantly limited,” the President said.
“Work in public and private sectors shall be limited to a work-at-home arrangement,” he added.
The enhanced community quarantine, which has taken effect at 12:01 am on Tuesday (March 17) orders strict observation of social distancing measures following the sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Under the Enhanced Community Quarantine and the Stringent Social Distancing Measures over the entire Luzon Island, the following shall be strictly implemented:
No classes until April 14, 2020
No mass gatherings
Households under strict home quarantine (only one person may be allowed access to basic necessities)
Regulated provisions on food and essential health services
Increased military and police presence
Suspended mass public transport
Restricted land, air and sea travel
Inbound passengers who are allowed to enter Luzon (subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions)
International passengers, in transit
Filipino citizens including foreign spouse and children
Holders of Permanent Resident Visa
Transport of medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to the COVID-19, and other humanitarian assistance is allowed
Open establishments (with assigned skeletal force under strict social distancing one-meter protocol)
pharmacies and drug stores
food preparation and delivery services
manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines
money transfer services
power, energy, water, and telecommunications supplies and facilities
Business Process Outsourcing establishments and export-oriented industries; skeletal workforce must be provided with temporary accommodation
Media personnel shall be allowed to travel within the quarantine area provided they have PCOO media pass.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have been ordered to coordinate with various agencies and create a program that will provide assistance to affected employees and residents of Luzon.
The President also ordered DSWD to ensure that the delivery of food assistance will be unhampered.
President Duterte warned offenders of facing sanctions as the implementation of such strict measures is crucial to the safety of the Filipino public.
“Obey the police and the military. Do not quarrel with them and do not start ruckus that would amount to a violation because you will be arrested and brought to prison — disobedience of authority then acts of public disturbance,” he said. “You can be arrested. Sumunod lang kayo at wala tayong problema (Just follow the rules and we will have no problem),” he concluded.
The above measures are subject to daily review and study of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) until such time that the risk of coronavirus disease subsides. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
Starbucks Philippines and J.CO Donuts & Coffee have announced the “temporary pause” of their operations in Luzon due to the implemented enhanced community quarantine.
Starbucks clarified their operations will continue in Visayas and Mindanao.
J.CO Donuts & Coffee also paused their operations in Luzon while their operations in Visayas and Mindanao will continue but with adjusted store hours.
“Please be informed that store operations in Metro Manila and Luzon are temporarily paused. Kindly see our Visayas and Mindanao Schedules for your reference. As always, be safe and healthy!” their post reads.
Meanwhile, 7-Eleven Philippines will implement precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their customers and employees.
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