Metro off-track betting sites allowed to operate this MECQ–IATF

Published August 27, 2021, 5:59 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

The Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) has gained the approval of the government’s pandemic task force on its request to reopen off-track betting (OTB) stations in Metro Manila for the duration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

(Photo from Philracom)

This was learned Friday, Aug. 27 via a statement from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Rpque that discussed recent policy adoptions by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Roque said the IATF had a meeting on Thursday.

As per the task force’s approval, OTBs in the metropolis may operate until the end of the MECQ on Aug. 31, subject to the approval of the concerned local government unit (LGU).

“The operation of OTBs shall be strictly limited to selling of tickets and shall ensure the enforcement of health and safety protocols and observance of minimum public health standards within their premises,” the statement read.

The MECQ period began on Aug. 21. Before that, Metro Manila was placed under ECQ–the strictest quarantine classification–for a span of two weeks. This was done in efforts to control the spread of the dreaded Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The strict lockdown has resulted in the temporary stoppage of Philippine horse racing.