DILG asks Metro Manila residents to stay at home during Luzon quarantine

Published March 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said in a press conference late Monday that in order limit the movement of people, Metro Manila residents are asked to stay home during the community quarantine period, stressing this restriction is essential in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año  (PCOO/ MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (PCOO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Aside from Año, Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles entertained questions regarding the steps undertaken by the government to restrict movement within Luzon.

In the enhanced community quarantine, Año said uniformed personnel will still be deployed in key and strategic areas.

During this period, Año said governors, mayors, police officers, and barangay officials will be part of roving teams to ensure that residents stay inside their homes.

Admitting this to be a great challenge, Año said even those living in depressed areas will have to strictly follow social distancing rules to curb the COVID-19 spread.

Since public transport will cease operation during the community quarantine period, Año said LGUs can provide transportation or can require some public utilities to operate a certain number of vehicles that are commensurate to the number of commuters.

As for carinderias (eateries) and sari-sari stores (variety stores), Año insisted that they will be required to close shop at 8 p.m. to discourage the public from going out in the streets to patronize them even after curfew hours.

He explained that food delivery services will be operational but that that sit-in dining is not allowed in restaurants, also to restrict people movement.

Accredited media workers are exempted from the restriction but are advised to place media stickers on their private vehicles.

The members of the media on graveyard shift are reminded to wash their hands properly and of their civil responsibility to remain hygienic.

Isolation units for asymptomatic, mild symptoms

Año also said local government units (LGU) will be compelled to identify isolation units that may be used as quarantine areas for patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Año said the isolation areas may be private houses, condominium units, or similar structures.

He noted that guests living outside Metro Manila may make arrangements with hotel management to make the establishment a quarantine area even if they are closed for operation.

However, Año explained that hotel guests with residences in Metro Manila will be asked to return to their homes.