The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on March 14 that a curfew will be implemented in Metro Manila. The ordinance is part of a community quarantine to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
GMANews reported that according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, Metro Manila mayors have agreed to a resolution to impose a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. starting March 15 until April 14.
However, according to a report from PhilStar, the resolution to impose a curfew needs to be backed up by city ordinances which will authorize security personnel to enforce the curfew and penalize violators.
The report added that mayors need to call on legislative councils for them to pass local legislation for the period of the quarantine. Meaning, laws have to be made and passed before midnight when the curfew begins.
In a text message to PhilStar, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that it will depend on cities’ local laws. “Without an ordinance, no arrests as in detention can be made [over the curfew].”
Who are exempted from the curfew?
According to a memorandum released by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, workers, whether they are employed or self-employed, will be “provisionally allowed” to travel to and from the NCR which is subject to review by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) “if public health considerations so warrant.”
Checkpoints will also be placed and workers coming in and out of Metro Manila will need to provide proof of employment and/or business.
MMDA chief Jose Arturo Santillan Garcia Jr. said that workers and those involved in essential services will be exempt from the curfew.
Essential services will remain open to the public.
Mr. Garcia is also considering the shutdown of bars, establishments, and other related entertainment shops during the month-long lockdown period.
In a resolution read by San Juan mayor Francis Zamora, the mayor said, “The resolution orders temporary closure of malls and related establishments except offering essential services such as groceries, supermarkets, pharmacies, and restaurants with home deliveries and bank services.”
On March 12, President Rodrigo Duterte placed a community quarantine over Metro Manila to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country. According to the Department of Health, the country recorded 64 cases of COVID-19 as of March 14.
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