Gov’t eases rules on movement of people to boost economy

Published October 16, 2020, 2:46 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government pandemic task force has relaxed the country’s travel restrictions by allowing the movement of people not listed as authorized persons outside of their residences (non-APORs) between areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).


Local government units have also been urged to relax curfew hours and exempt workers and establishments from the coverage of the curfew in their areas of jurisdiction, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

The easing of the restrictions on the movement of people came as the government seeks to revitalize the country’s economic activities in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The latest decision was reached by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) during a meeting Thursday.

“The interzonal movement of persons not authorized outside of residences (non-APOR) between areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for any purpose shall be permitted,” Roque said.

Roque made clear that the movement across GCQ and MGCQ zones will still be subject to the “reasonable regulations” imposed by the concerned local government units. In the case of Boracay Island, he said the interzonal travel will depend on the rules imposed by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force.

Also, Roque said the IATF has permitted intrazonal movement of non-APORs across areas placed under GCQ or MGCQ as well as the interzonal movement of non-APORs between areas placed under MGCQ and the New Normal.

Previously, the government only allowed APORs to travel across community quarantine areas to curb the transmission of the illness.

Under revised IATF rules, the interzonal movement is defined as the movement of people, goods and services between provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities under different community quarantine classification.

Intrazonal movement, on the other hand, refers to the movement of people, goods and services between provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities under the same community quarantine classification, without transiting through an area placed under a different classification.

Also, the IATF has expanded the list of authorized people outside their residences. It now includes the repatriated overseas Filipino workers returning to their places of residence swell as other persons transported through the government efforts upon observance of quarantine protocols with the concurrence of the receiving LGUs. The Philippine National Police has been directed to update its list of APORs.

The present list of APORs include health and emergency frontline services personnel, government officials and government frontline personnel, duly-authorized humanitarian assistance actors, persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons, persons going to the airport for travel abroad, and anyone crossing zones for work or business permitted in the zone of destination and going back home.

The IATF meanwhile has also made an appeal to local government units concerning the implementation of curfew restrictions.

“The IATF enjoined LGUs not to cover workers, APORs, and necessary establishments in the application of their curfew ordinances, to coordinate between and among each other and standardize curfew rules, and relax curfew hours,” Roque said.

Roque earlier said the Cabinet has endorsed the economic cluster’s proposal on shorter curfew hours in line with reviving the economy. He said they backed the recommendation to impose the curfew period from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. from the current 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. implemented in many areas.