Late afternoon yesterday, March 16, President Rodrigo Duterte announced, through Malacañang Spokesperson Panelo, the immediate implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine in the whole of Luzon – only a day after the effectivity of Metro Manila Community Quarantine.
The president appeared on national televisiion afterwards and the Inter Agency Task Force explained further the guidleines and situation in a press conference late evening.
To get a better understanding of the Enhance Community Quarantine in Luzon, here are the guidelines that were set up to explain the veracity of information accorded with the memorandum effective midnight of March 17, 2020 to midnight of April 13, 2020.
Strict Home Quarantine and Limited Movement
A strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households. Movement shall be limited to accessing basic necessities. Provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated. There will be heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures.
Suspension and Restriction of Mass Public Transport by Land, Air, and Sea
Mass public transport facilities shall be suspended.
Land, air and sea travel shall be restricted. Outbound passengers intending to depart the Philippines from any of the international airports in Luzon shall be allowed to travel for a period of 72 hours from effectivity of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Essential Establisments Remain Open
Establishments that will remain open: public markets, supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies and drug stores, food preparation and delivery services, water-refilling stations, manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines, banks, money transfer services, power, energy, water and telecommunications supplies and facilities.
Essential Businesses and Workforce Remain Operational
BPOs and export-oriented industries shall remain operational, subject to the condition that strict social distancing measures are observed and that their respective personnel are provided appropriate temporary accommodation arrangements.
Media Workers Need to Secure PCOO ID
Media personnel shall be allowed to travel within the quarantine area, provided that within 72 hours from the issuance of the memo, they shall secure an identification card from the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
Work From Home Strongly Implemented
A work from home arrangement shall be implemented in the Executive branch, except the PNP, AFP, PCG, and health and emergency frontline services, border control and other critical services, which shall ensure a skeletal work force.
Classes and Alternative Learning Activities (Except Online) Are Suspended
Classes and all school activities in all levels shall continue to be suspended until April 14.
Mass Gatherings Strictly Prohibited
Mass gatherings shall be prohibited. Concerts, rallies, protests, community events, etc. are highly advised to cancel or to postpone until further notice.
Delivery of Perishable Goods, Medical Supplies, Food, and Essential Items are Allowed
The movement of cargoes within, to and from the entire Luzon shall be unhampered. For this purpose, guidelines for the accompanying crew or personnel of transiting cargoes shall be formulated by the Department of Transportation.
In addition, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Labor and Employment, in coordination with the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and Department of Trade and Industry shall formulate programs, projects and measures for the social amelioration of affected workers and residents. These measures may include, but shall not be limited to, moratorium on lease rentals, advancing a pro-rated thirteenth (13th) month pay, reprieve in utility bills, and assistance to micro, small and medium-scale enterprises.
The DSWD is further directed to institute measures to expedite the distribution of food assistance to the most affected residents of the entire Luzon.
Failure to abide by the foregoing guidelines and measures shall be subjected to appropriate action, both criminal and administrative, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. For this purpose, the Department of Justice is directed to initiate appropriate charges, as may be warranted.
Here are some of the private sectors’ response to this immediate call to action
“Heeding the President’s call tonight for business – large or small – to rise to the challenge posed by Covid 19, the MVP Group is one with the President in coping with this virus. We are helping our employees by maintaining their salaries and benefits during the crisis. We have asked them to Work from Home. We continue to serve our customers with the service they need at this time, including the provision of relevant financing, when required. In particular, our Hospitals Group are doing its best to cope with the rising traffic of PUIs and those confirmed positive with the virus, by sending our frontline health workers in needed areas, and importing face masks and PPEs.,” Manny V. Pangilinan, chief executive PLDT.