Philippine government restricts people’s movement at country’s most populous region
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered government agencies to restrict the people’s movement from the country’s most populous region, the National Capital Region (population 13.9) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which has been found in 62 persons. Eight of the COVID-19 positive patients have died.
The government has banned mass gatherings including movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies and non-essential work-related gatherings. However, work-related gatherings and religious activities are allowed provided strict social distancing is observed.
People’s movement will be limited to the purchase or acquisition of basic commodities and reporting for work with police and quarantine officers will be at the boundaries. They have encouraged work-from-home arrangements or utilization of vacation leaves.
As the government banned domestic air and domestic sea travel to and from the National Capital Region but workers will be provisionally allowed to travel. Working documents are to be required from persons getting into the quarantined areas. People leaving the National Capital Region will be screened to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
The movement of cargoes will remain unhampered regardless of origin and destination as classes for all levels will remain suspended until April 14,2020.
Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Council, composed of the Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Delapuz Lim and the 17 city and one municipal mayor, agreed to close shopping malls to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Groceries, supermarkets, banks and drugstores as well as public markets will remain open.
A curfew will be implemented from 8:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. and only those with legitimate concerns are allowed movement.
There’s no estimate of the number of workers affected by the skeletal-force arrangement and the closure of shopping malls. (Melo M. Acuña)
Residents in a metropolitan village go about their usually routines a few hours before the government enforces community quarantine for Metro Manila with an evening population of 13.9 million. (Melo M. Acuna)