Metro Manila under curfew until March 31

LOCKDOWN ENFORCERS. A Quezon City Police District officer and a barangay personnel prepares to enforce health and safety protocols in a special concern lockdown area (SCLA) along C. Benitez Street in Barangay San Martin de Porres, Quezon City on Monday, March 15. At least 23 areas in Quezon City are under SCLA due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. | PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler

ON top of its general community quarantine status, Metro Manila has implemented a curfew until the end of March in an effort to curb the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the capital region.

The curfew, which took effect on Monday, March 15, will be observed daily from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. It will last for two weeks until March 31.

“The mission is plain and simple: All police forces will strictly implement the Uniform Curfew Hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will ensure that people in Metro Manila observe the minimum health safety standard protocol,” Philippine National Police (PNP) officer in charge Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Sunday, March 14.

Under the new restriction, the majority of the general public will not be allowed outdoors with some exemptions:

• Medical practitioners, nurses, ambulance drivers and other workers of medical facilities while on their way to and from work;
• Attendants of other persons dealing with an emergency medical situation;
• Persons who are obtaining emergency medical assistance for themselves or for other persons;
• Drivers of delivery trucks while on their way to deliver essential goods/products;
• Owners, vendors and other persons involved in the transport and delivery of essential goods;
• Private employees such as call center agents while on their way to and from work;
• Construction workers while on their way to and from work;
• Media practitioners while performing their job;
• Persons who are traveling to or from the airport prior to or after a flight;
• Drivers of private transportation used as shuttle services while on their way to and from work;
• Members of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), including Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and other emergency responders;
• Security guards; and
• Employees of open fast-foods (take out only).

Penalties for curfew violators will depend on the ordinances passed by local governments, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

The MMDA is also drafting a resolution that bans minors in Metro Manila from going outside.

“Only individuals aged 18-65 years old are allowed to go outside their residences amid the alarming rising number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila starting tomorrow, March 17,” it announced Tuesday, March 16.

“We are implementing age restrictions because of the increase in our COVID-19 cases,” it added.

LIQUOR BAN. A barangay personnel posts a public notice ban on alcohol selling at various stores and groceries in Barangay Immaculate Conception, Cubao, Quezon City on Tuesday, March 16. In a post by the Quezon City government on its Facebook page, all retail sales of alcoholic beverages have been suspended in accordance with supplementary guidelines that impose emergency measures and protocols. | PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler

The MMDA also reminded the public to observe and practice the minimum health protocols.

“Be extra careful and follow stringent measures particularly when around vulnerable family members, as there have been reports of transmission among family members,” MMDA chief Benhur Abalos said.

“As I’ve said before, the metro mayors and MMDA are regularly monitoring the COVID-19 numbers and we will implement calibration and changes on our directives depending on the figures that we have,” he added.

To date, there are a total of 631,320 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, with 12,848 fatalities and 560,736 recoveries.

Ritchel Mendiola
Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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