Pres. Rodrigo Duterte addressed the Philippine nation on Thursday, March 12, 2020 and gave details on the policies and regulations to be implemented nationwide in light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
Without mentioning the word “lockdown”, the President effectively placed Metro Manila on a lockdown by restricting travel and movement of residents of the National Capital Region (NCR).
A copy of the resolution from the “Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease”, which became the basis of the President’s order, is shown below.
The task force is composed of representatives from the DOH, DFA, DILG, DOJ, DOLE, DOT, DOTr, and DICT.
Highlights of Pres. Duterte’s order, explained during tonight’s speech, are:
COVID-19 Travel Lockdown in Metro Manila
Beginning March 15, 2020 and lasting until April 14, 2020, all forms of land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be not be allowed. This, however, is subject to a review everyday by the inter-agency task force and may be lifted upon determination that the risk has subsided.
Mass transport in NCR, including MRT, LRT, PNR, shall continue to operate with the DOTR being asked to ensure “social distancing” among commuters is maintained.
At the same time, the President announced that mass gatherings, whether planned or spontaneous, shall be prohibited during the said period.
Metro Manila classes suspended until April 12
Pres. Duterte announced that classes in all levels in the National Capital Region (NCR) will continue to be suspended until April 12, 2020.
Class suspension outside Metro Manila shall be the discretion of the local government units (LGU).
Work-at-home schemes in the private sector
The private sector is encouraged to provide flexible work arrangements to their employees. This includes the adoption of work-from-home or work-at-home policies enabling private sector employees to work from the comforts of their homes, without needing to commute anymore to their offices.
Philippines to restrict those coming from COVID-hit countries
Entry restrictions shall be imposed on travelers coming from countries with localized COVID-19 transmissions. However, this rule shall not apply to all Filipino citizens, including their foreign spouse and children, and holders of Permanent Resident (PR) visa, and holders of 9(e) Diplomat Visas issued by the Philippine government.
OFWs allowed to travel to China, except Hubei
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) will be allowed to travel to China, except to Hubei province where the coronavirus is said to have originated, as long as the OFW will sign a declaration that they understand the risks involved i said travel.
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