On March 13, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya relayed via a statement the important points of the president’s directives with regards to containing and preventing the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“In last night’s 11th meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the President approved the recommendations of the Department of Health following their decision to raise the Code Alert System for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country to Code Red Sublevel 2 and the declaration by the WHO of a global pandemic.”
Malaya continued, “Following a lengthy discussion with health officials, as well as with members of the Task Force, the President has decided to approve the imposition of Stringent Social Distancing Measures in the National Capital Region (NCR) for thirty (30) days, with the salient directives discussed below.”
1 | Class suspension in all levels in Metro Manila
The suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila is extended until April 12, 2020, with students remaining in their respective homes for the said duration. The DILG has directed the PNP and the Barangays to continue keeping students out of malls, cinemas, and other crowded places.
2 | Prohibition of mass gatherings
Mass gatherings, defined as events where the number of people attending could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event, shall be prohibited across the country during the aforesaid period.
3 | Community quarantine for the entire Metro Manila Area
For the Local Government Units (LGUs) outside the metro, each is advised to abide by the following guidelines:
a. ) A barangay-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different households in the same barangay;
b.) A municipality/city-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different barangays in the same municipality/city;
c.) A province-wide quarantine is advised when there at least two (2) positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different municipalities, component cities or independent component cities in the same province; and
d.) LGUs, which have imposed community quarantine in their respective jurisdiction\s, upon the declaration of a State of Calamity, shall be allowed to access their Quick Response Fund.
4 | Work suspension in the Executive Branch
Work in the Executive Branch including LGUs, GOCCs, and SUCs shall be suspended during the same period, without prejudice to the formation of skeletal workforces by government agencies to ensure continued delivery of basic services. The Congress and the Judiciary are encouraged to adopt the same policy. Law enforcement agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, as well as health and emergency frontline services shall continue in full operation.
5 | To the private sector, flexible work arrangements are encouraged
Flexible work arrangements shall likewise be encouraged in the private sector, following guidelines from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry designed to safeguard the welfare of the workers. All manufacturing, retail and service establishments shall remain in operation during the same period, provided that strict social distancing measures are observed.
6 | Mass Public Transportations shall continue to operate
Mass public transports, such as the Light Rail Transits, the Metro Rail Transits, and the Philippine National Railway shall continue in operation, following guidelines by the Department of Transportation intended to ensure social distancing.
7 | Land, Domestic Air, and Domestic Sea travel to and from Metro Manila are all suspended
Land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended beginning March 15, 2020, 12 AM until April 14, 2020, 11:59 PM. Those living outside Metro Manila but work in the metropolis and vice versa shall be allowed in and out provided they show a valid company ID at the checkpoints to be set up by the PNP.
8 | Entry travel restrictions to all travelers from countries with localized COVID-19
Entry travel restrictions shall be imposed upon those traveling from countries with localized COVID-19 transmissions, except for Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, if any, holders of permanent resident visas, and holders of diplomatic visas issued by the Philippine Government. Therefore, Filipino citizens holding dual citizenship will be allowed entry provided they hold PH passports. Foreigners from countries with confirmed localized transmission will not be allowed entry into the country.
If coming in through NAIA, they shall remain in Metro Manila until the domestic travel ban is lifted if the ultimate destination is the provinces. If flying in through Clark, Cebu and other airports not under quarantine, they can proceed to their ultimate destination except Metro Manila.
Nevertheless, the flow of goods and food items to and from the Metro will continue without obstruction.
Furthermore, all the said measures will be subjected to daily monitoring and review by the inter-agency task force (IATF).
“While a total lockdown is considered by some as a valid preventive measure, current circumstances do not warrant such an extreme course of action,” Malaya added.
“The WHO has informed the PH government that if no drastic measures are implemented, the PH potentially could have 75,000 positive cases because the virus spreads exponentially.”
Check out the full statement below:
—(Source: DILG Philippines)
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