Palace releases new ECQ guidelines for Metro Manila, other areas

MALACAÑANG on Wednesday, May 13 released new guidelines for areas under a modified enhanced community quarantine.

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte the day before announced that Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu City will continue operating under a modified quarantine until the end of the month, following his meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Under the modified enhanced community quarantine, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said people are still required to stay at home, but they are allowed to walk, jog, run, and bike outside as long as they observe safety protocols like wearing face masks and practicing social distancing of at least two meters.

Public transportation will also remain prohibited, but government company shuttles, personal vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles, electric scooters, and public shuttles will be allowed provided the people follow safety protocols.

“Sa Modified ECQ, wala pa rin pong public transportation pero pwede po na mag-deploy ng mga shuttle buses iyong mga industriya na ina-allow na magtrabaho at saka subject din po sa exceptions na ibibigay ng DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] tungkol dito (Under the modified ECQ, public transportation is not allowed but companies could deploy shuttle buses to ferry workers subject to exception rules of the DILG),” Roque said.

The Department of Transportation said that the operation of tricycles may be allowed by the local government.

“[Tricycles] are under the jurisdiction of LGUs/DILG. Sila ang makakasagot nyan (They are the ones who are responsible for that),” said DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran.

Meanwhile, domestic flights continue to be suspended, while international flights are operating on limited schedules.

Roque also said that government agencies may implement skeleton workforces under modified ECQ, while private sector workers must be provided shuttle services.

Likewise, several sectors and services will be allowed to partially resume operations with 50 percent of their workforce on site.

Businesses that can now partially open under modified ECQ include manufacturers of essential goods like food and beverages (only non-alcoholic drinks), hygiene products, medicines and vitamins, medical products (masks, PPEs), pet food, feeds, fertilizers; essential retail stores; telecommunications companies; media establishments; postal, courier, delivery services; office administrative and office support; legal and accounting; management consultancy services; and publishing and printing.

Barbershops, salons, gyms, karaoke bars, cinemas, libraries, museums, cultural centers, and personal care services are still not allowed to operate.

“Nag-simula tayo sa ECQ. Gagawin nating modified ECQ papunta sa GCQ at susunod po ang modified GCQ bago po tayo magkaroon ng new normal (We began with the implementation of ECQ. We will now implement modified ECQ. Afterwards, GCQ and modified GCQ before we have the new normal),” Roque said.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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