Malacañang has released guidelines for the Metro Manila community quarantine, which will take effect from March 15, 2020 to April 14, 2020, this Saturday, March 14.
The undated memorandum, which is made public by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, is relative to the management of the COVID-19 situation.
Addressed to all heads of departments, agencies, offices, and instrumentalities of the government, including the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippines Coast Guard (PCGS), the guidelines on imposition of Stringent Social Distancing Measures will start on March 15, midnight, and will be effective for 30 days.
Here are three key points to take note of:
Classes and all school activites remain suspended; public events canceled
Class suspension is extended until April 14, 2020.
According to Inquirer.net, the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission of Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and other regulatory agencies shall ensure "that state universities and colleges, schools and universities and other educational institutions must conduct flexible arrangements to finish students’ requirements."
As for public events, mass gatherings are prohibited. Such social events include movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, community assemblies, and "non-essential work-related gatherings."
"Essential work-related meeting and religious activites" may continue as long as they maintain "strict social distancing", which is defined as "strict maintenance of a distance of at least one meter radius" between and among attendees. This must be observed during the entire event.
Alternative work arrangements encouraged
A report by Philippine Star says the executive branch will implement "'alternative working arrangements' like remote work and staggered working hours to protect government personnel from the novel coronavirus disease."
The private sector is encouraged to adopt flexible working hours, but "all manufacturing, retail and service establishments are advised to remain open."
CNN Philippines reports that "land, local air, local sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be restricted, but workers will be 'provisionally allowed' to enter and leave the region, once they present proof of employment or business at border checkpoints."
Overseas travel is also allowed, but "they have to present proof that they have a flight scheduled in the next 12 hours."
Cargoes are still allowed to enter and exit Metro Manila as earlier announced to sustain supply of food and basic necessities in the metro.
Read full memorandum here:
As of March 13, the Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed 12 new COVID-19 cases, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to 64.
This Saturday, March 14, DOH confirms another death of a COVID-19 patient. The death toll is now up to six.
The government has raised the alert level to Code Red Sublevel 2 on Thursday, March 12.