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

Marje Pelayo   •   September 29, 2020   •   396

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)

Hotels may soon be allowed to accept more guests – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hotels in areas classified under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ will soon be allowed to accept guests at full capacity in a bid to help the tourism industry recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has given the authority to the DOT to determine the allowable operational capacity for hotels, including those that offer staycations.

Puyat, however, stressed that the decision to open at 100% capacity will be up to the hotel management and subject to compliance with safety guidelines.

The announcement follows the issuance last week of an IATF resolution which amends the provision that only allows establishments in GCQ areas to operate with a skeleton work force.

For accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under MGCQ, Resolution No. 79 provides that the DOT shall determine their allowable operational capacity from the previous provision for a maximum of 50% operational capacity.

Operational capacity is defined by the IATF as such a number of employees who can be permitted to physically report to work on-site.

“Also approved in the said resolution is the easing up of interzonal and intrazonal movement, which is the predicate to reviving domestic tourism,” Puyat said.

“Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation, and tour operation sectors. Allowing the accommodation sector to operate at full capacity will be most welcomed by tourism’s workforce that has been greatly affected since the community lockdown,” she added.

The DOT is set to issue guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels, she further stated.

Puyat earlier directed all hotels and other tourism establishments in GCQ areas to secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations (DCAOS) prior to accommodating any guests for that purpose.

Mas maluwag na general community quarantine, umiiral sa Metro Manila —Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Mas marami na ang maaaring lumabas ng bahay ngayon at pinalawig pa ang kapasidad ng pampublikong transportasyon sa kabila na nananatili ang banta ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Hinihikayat na rin ng pamahalaan ang pagsasagawa ng business activities upang maka-engganyo ng mas maraming customers bukod pa sa mas maraming negosyo ang pinahihintulutan nang magbukas.

“Tama po kayo, mas maluwag na general community quarantine ang pinaiiral ngayon sa Metro Manila,” sagot ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque sa mga mamahayag nitong Lunes (October 19).

Ang pagluwag ng quarantine restrictions ay upang makabawi ang ekonomiya sa bansa mula sa epekto ng pandemya.

Samantala, ayon sa kalihim, may mga sang-ayon sa mungkahi ng Metro Manila Mayors na palawigin na ang general community quarantine (GCQ) sa National Capital Region (NCR) hanggang buwan ng Disyembre.

Subalit, naka-depende pa rin ito sa desisyon ng policy-making body ng gobyerno laban sa COVID-19.

“Iyan po ang parang nabubuong concensus, pero siyempre po hindi ko po pwedeng pangunahan because it is a collegial decision,” pahayag ng opisyal.

“Pero ang nangyayari po kasi ngayon, bagaman naka-GCQ ang Metro Manila, nagkakaroon po tayo ng mas malawak na pagbubukas ng mga industriya,” dagdag nito.

Inaasahang bago magpalit ng buwan, isasapubliko ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang panibagong quarantine classification sa NCR para sa Nobyembre.

Giit ng opisyal, posible ang anumang quarantine classification sa NCR subalit mananatiling iisa ang posisyon ng pamahalaan – ang pahintulutang makapag-hanapbuhay na ang mga mamamayan habang ipinatutupad pa rin ang minimum health standards. MNP (sa ulat ni Rosalie Coz)

LTFRB opens 44 new PUJ routes, allows 4,820 more jeepneys on Metro Manila streets

Marje Pelayo   •   October 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has opened additional 44 routes of the traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ) on Tuesday (October 13). 

Aside from this, the agency also allowed 4,820 PUJ units to ply routes in Metro Manila as stated in the Memorandum Circular 2020-058 dated Saturday (October 10).

Overall, a total of 27,016 traditional PUJs are now operating on 302 routes across Metro Manila since the government opened transportation with the implementation of General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

The agency said it is working on opening more routes for PUVs to address the need for mass transport as business further reopen. 

This was after public transport capacity was limited amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) unit breakdown in Metro Manila since operation started on June 1, 2020:

Traditional Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ)

  • No. of routes opened: 302
  • No. of authorized units: 27,016

Modern Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ)

  • No. of routes opened: 48
  • No. of authorized units: 845

Public Utility Buses (PUB)

  • No. of routes: 34
  • No. of authorized units: 4,016

Point-to-point buses (P2P)

  • No. of routes opened: 34
  • No. of authorized units: 387

UV Express

  • No. of routes opened: 76
  • No. of authorized units: 3,263

Taxi

  • No. of authorized units: 20,927

Transport Network Vehicles Services (TNVS)

  • No. of authorized units: 24,356

Provincial Public Utility Bus (PUB)

  • No. of routes opened: 12
  • No. of authorized units: 286

Modern UV Express

  • No. of routes opened: 2
  • No. of authorized units: 40

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