Last night was yet another eventful one, as the government has announced that the entire Luzon will be placed under an ‘enhanced community quarantine’—a policy which has already taken effect as of today, March 17, 2020.
This meant a total ban on all forms of public transportation and, overall, a restriction of movement on the ground. So, what does this mean for motorists and commuters like us? If you still need to get out of the house for whatever reason—be it for work or groceries— despite this Luzon-wide quarantine, then we’ve put together a list you can refer to that contains all the salient points of the memorandum, and then some. If you want to learn more, then read on.
1) A strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households
- Movement will be limited only to accessing of basic necessities and for travel of workforce on the front lines—health workers, military staff, policemen, as well as media personnel.
- Establishments such as public markets, supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, water-refilling stations, pharmacies and drug stores, manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines, medical clinics, and banks will be allowed to operate. Other establishments providing services such as food preparation and delivery, money transfer, power, energy, water, and telecommunications supplies and facilities will also be open.
- Classes and all school activities in all levels shall be suspended until April 14, 2020.
- Mass gatherings shall be prohibited.
2) Mass public transport facilities shall be suspended
- There will be no jeepneys, public utility buses, trains (MRT-3, LRT-1, LRT-2, PNR), taxis and ride-hailing services, pedicabs, and tricycles operational across the entire Luzon.
- In some areas—like Pasig City, for example—local government units have foregone the part on prohibiting tricycle operations in order to ferry those exempted from the quarantine such as frontliners to and from their posts. This will be allowed provided that both drivers and passengers strictly comply with the guidelines on public transport and social distancing.
- To help medical frontliners and other necessary personnel to their jobs, the government has coordinated with bus companies for transport.
3) Land, air, and sea travel shall be restricted
- The aforementioned frontliners and media personnel are the only people allowed to head out on the streets. Otherwise, ordinary citizens are required to stay indoors.
- Citizens may be allowed to travel via private vehicles strictly for the purposes of buying necessities or visiting of exempted establishments if and only if there is only one person inside the vehicle.
- Members of the media may only be allowed to travel within the quarantine area as long as they are able to secure an identification card from the Presidential Communications Operations Office within 72 hours from the issuance of the memorandum.
- Uniformed personnel transporting medical supplies and other necessities to aid in the pandemic will be allowed to travel.
- Filipinos with permanent resident and/or 9(e) Diplomat visas issued by the Philippine government will be allowed entry, provided they follow the quarantine procedures if necessary.
International passengers already aboard inbound flights upon issuance of the memo will also be allowed entry, but will also be subject to the necessary quarantine procedures.
- All outbound passengers who wish to leave Luzon via any of its airports will be allowed to travel within 72 hours from the effectivity of the memorandum.
- All cargo moving to, from, and within Luzon will not be impeded, and the accompanying crew must follow guidelines to be set by the Department of Transportation.
That’s about all we have from the Malacañang’s memorandum as of the moment. Once more details come to light, we’ll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, watch this space through this link so you can stay in the loop.