Let’s Answer Some Questions You Probably Have About the COVID-19 ‘Lockdown’ in NCR
Mar 13, 2020   •   Cristina Morales
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Mar 13, 2020   •   Cristina Morales
Last night, President Rodrigo Duterte announced a month-long community quarantine in Metro Manila from March 15, 2020 until April 14, 2020. The logistics behind pulling off a quarantine of such a significant scale might seem daunting and confusing, so we’ve simplified it a bit for you. Read on to learn more about the Metro Manila “lockdown”.
Because this is a developing situation, this article may be updated periodically as more clarifications and guidelines are released.
A: No. Metro Manila is under a COMMUNITY QUARANTINE.
What’s the difference? Let’s dissect the two terms’ meanings.
“While a total and absolute lockdown is considered by some as a valid preventive measure, current circumstances do not warrant such an extreme course of action,” DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya told the press last night.
A: LGUs that have a certain number of positive COVID-19 cases are also advised to undergo a quarantine. These are the guidelines from Malacañang:
Yes, you can still leave your home, but it’s advised that you stay at home as much as you can. The government is also calling on the private sector to allow their employees to work from home when possible. And of course, avoid crowded places.
“Community quarantine also means that people are discouraged to go to the malls and crowded places,” said USec Malaya. “Instead, it’s just work at home and they can’t leave Metro Manila to stop spreading the virus outside the metro.”
Yes. Mass public transports like the LRT, MRT, and PNR will still continue operations, following guidelines for social distancing, which will be provided by the DOTR.
A: According to USec Malaya, people working in Metro Manila but living outside “will be allowed in, provided they show company IDs at the checkpoints.”
As of this writing, the locations of these checkpoints still have not been finalized, but USec Malaya said that private vehicles will be checked individually at these checkpoints to determine whether they will be allowed in and out of Manila. Police will also be boarding buses to check each passenger.
A: Yes. Mass gatherings are prohibited during the community quarantine because they could strain the planning and response resources of its host community. This means no rallies, no church services, no large events, etc.
A: Filipino citizens, their foreign spouses and children, holders of permanent resident visas, and holders of diplomatic visas issued by the Philippine Government will be able to re-enter the country through Manila. However, if they live outside (e.g. in Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, etc.), they will not be allowed to exit Metro Manila. They could fly to Clark and other international airports in the country, and travel from there.
Non-essential travel (e.g. if you’re just going on vacation) will not be allowed.
To stay updated on the NCR community quarantine, refer to reliable news networks and official statements from government agencies.
What are your thoughts on the Metro Manila “lockdown”? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Though a chronic dabbler in whatever tickles her fancy, Cristina claims she can count her passions on one hand: feminism, literature, the environment, embroidery, and the power of a solid pop song. She lives in Uniqlo lounge pants and refuses to leave the house without a winged eye.
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