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  • UPDATE: DILG Says There Is No Community Quarantine Curfew Yet

    "Everyone needs to go on self-quarantine."
    by SmartParenting Staff .
UPDATE: DILG Says There Is No Community Quarantine Curfew Yet
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  • This is a developing story

    [UPDATE, March 14, 5 p.m.] At a press conference, MMDA Chief Jose Arturo Santillan Garcia, Jr., mentioned a curfew would be enforced from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. But later that afternoon, Philippine Star quoted DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya who clarified there is no nationwide curfew yet. Malaya added the Metro Manila Council resolution is a recommendation — an ordinance is needed for the enforcement of curfew.

    According to Atty. Sandy Coronel, only city councils can pass ordinances. All the MMDA can do via resolution is to have an agreement that each mayor will ask his/her respective City Council to pass the ordinance. If the city council does not pass the ordinance, there is no curfew.

    The Department of Tourism also released a statement on its official Facebook page. It asked for clarification on the guidelines of the curfew and if there is one, allow certain establishments to operate longer than the recommended curfew period but on a limited scale.

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    The agency said establishments can be, but not limited, to restaurants, hotels, groceries, convenience stores and drugstores. It added "these establishments must be given sufficient lead time to prepare their personnel as well."

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    Original story follows

    At a press conference today, March 14, 2020, MMDA Chief Jose Arturo Santillan Garcia, Jr., provided more guidelines for the community quarantine that will begin at midnight, March 15, 2020.

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    Garcia says we need to learn from the lessons of Italy, which now has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases after China. "Everyone needs to go on self-quarantine." (Read here what is a lockdown like in China and Italy.)

    According to Garcia, the 17 mayors of the National Capital Region "acting in unity with the national government" strongly recommend to issue ordinances for temporary closures of malls except for those that provide essential services. These are groceries/supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants that offer home delivery service, banks and medical-related service. (Want to know if you need to stock on food? Read here.

    The mall closure recommendation is from March 14 to April 13 and subject to daily evaluation. (This recommendation means MMDA is leaving the decision to the malls.)

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    Garcia says it is best to let the mayors decide what is best to conduct in their cities. "We are currently under general quaratine but our LGUS can implement enhance community quarantine or 'total lockdown,' Garcia says during the press conference.

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    "[It can mean] walang lalabas ng bahay except may nakatakda na magdadala ng pagkain or dadalhan ng pagkain."

    In a memorandum from the Office of the Executive Secretary, an updated resolution  was released, clarifying guidelines from the previous one by the Inter-Agency Task Force For The Management Of Emerging Infectious Disease.

    One key difference is the definition of social distancing. If you have to be with people, stay one meter apart. Mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work-related gatherings shall be suspended.

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    Essential work-related meetings and religious activities may continue as long as strict social distancing, defined as the strict maintenance of a distance of at least one-meter radius between and among those attending is maintained during the entire event. And wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

    The resolution also identifies those who are at high risk of being infected.

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    • 60 years old and above
    • immunocompromised or with co-morbidities
    • pregnant women 

    Aside from the current travel restrictions imposed upon foreign travel to and from China, including its Special Administrative Regions, and portions of South Korea, inbound travelers from Iran and Italy (except Filipino citizens, including their foreign spouse and children, if any, and holders of Permanent Resident Visas or 9(e) Diplomatic Visas issued by the Philippine Government) shall be required to present a medical certificate issued by competent medical authorities within forty-eight (48) hours immediately preceding departure signifying that they have tested negative for COVID-19.

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    Read the latest guidelines of community quarantine here.

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