MMDA denies reports on Metro Manila reverting to MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020   •   268

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danny Lim has denied reports that local chief executives in the National Capital Region (NCR) have suggested to revert Metro Manila to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status.

In an interview, Lim denounced the reports as fake news saying that the Metro Manila Council of Mayors actually suggested extending the general community quarantine in NCR starting August 1. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is expected to announce the new quarantine measures on July 31 that will be implemented across the country. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Eleazar tells APORs: Don’t abuse MECQ travel exemption

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Joint Task Force COVID (JTF CV) Shield has reminded authorized persons outside residence (APOR) that their travel exemption during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is limited and that they should not abuse the privilege given them.

JTF CV Shield commander, Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar issued the reminder following reports from various quarantine control points about APORs, or those bearing identification cards issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, using their passes to violate the strict quarantine rule on non-essential travel.

“Lumalabas sila na hindi naman work-related, ang basic kasing guidelines d’yan is ‘yung travel mo is that galing ka sa bahay mo papunta sa pagta-trabahuhan mo at tsaka pabalik and then p’wede naman na ‘yung presence mo sa labas ay part ng trabaho natin,” he said.

“Unless nasa labas ka para mag-avail or bibili ng mga produkto or itong mga essential goods na kailangan mo. In that case you have to avail that within your locality either do’n sa lugar kung saan ka nakatira or maaari naman na sa lugar kung saan ka nagta-trabaho or doon sa ruta na dinadaanan mo,” he added.

IATF IDs and rapid pass are issued to groups or employees whose nature of job is classified as essential to provide basic needs and services of people required to stay at home.

People given exemptions during community quarantine are listed as authorized persons outside residence (APOR). To be listed as APOR, they must be working as front-liners in the fight against the coronavirus disease or working for industries permitted to operate by the government.

Their presence outside of their homes and their travels must also be work-related.

Eleazar said that use of IATF IDs and rapid pass other than the stated reasons is a violation of quarantine protocols.

He added that he already directed police commanders and officers manning checkpoints to scrutinize IDs and other documents presented to them in order to determine whether or not the travel is work-related.

“Pag check mo kasi sa APOR, ano ba ang katunayan? ID, and then from the ID naman p’wedeng ma-establish du’n kung saan s’ya nakatira at saan s’ya nagta trabaho at saan ang location ng checkpoint,” he said.

“Essential worker ang media at APOR s’ya kung s’ya ay nasa labas at nasa trabaho s’ya o pupunta ng trabaho. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na ikaw ay media at may IATF card ka, p’wede mong gamitin ‘yun kahit saan ka pumunta, sa mga probinsya, hindi dapat gano’n ‘yun,” he added.

The JTF CV Shield is the National Task Force on COVID-19 and IATF’s arm in enforcing quarantine protocols. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Metro Manila may ease to GCQ after August 18 – Lorenzana

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who also serves as the chairman of the National Task Force on COVID-19, on Monday expressed confidence that the National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) after August 18.

Lorenzana said that recent data on COVID-19 cases show that Metro Manila is ready to loosen its coronavirus lockdown after its two-week return to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) restriction.

He said the trend is “going down” after the Department of Health reported around 3,000 additional cases on Sunday.

Lorenzana said this number is lower compared to the 6,000 increase in recent days.

Metro Manila, as well as Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal were placed under MECQ until August 18 after medical workers appealed for a “timeout” amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año also expressed optimism that the re-imposition of a stricter quarantine measure, coupled with the observance of health protocols, will slow down the transmission of coronavirus disease in the country

“Titingnan natin yung figures pero ako, I am optimistic na with the 15 days MECQ, bababa yan. Ang kailangan lang ay sumunod. Huwag na tayong maging pasaway, stay at home,” he said.

He also reiterated his appeal to the public to be responsible and strictly follow advise to only leave their homes for essential needs.

“With 15 days staying at home marami tayong virus diyan na mapapatay kasi incubation period or 14 days talaga namang mamamatay yung virus. Bago pa makalipat sa ibang tao mamatay na yung virus. So please do your partnering,” he said.  – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PH Navy redeploys troops at MECQ checkpoints

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 6, 2020

The Philippine Navy on Tuesday (August 4) redeployed its troops to man quarantine checkpoints in areas under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

The troops are set to aid other law enforcement agencies in ensuring an orderly and strict implementation of quarantine guidelines to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The Philippine Navy with the help of its stakeholders will also double its efforts to help the national government combat this unprecedented global pandemic,” the Philippine Navy said in a statement. AAC

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