DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday, August 3, 2020, said residents of Metro Manila and the four provinces under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) need to present quarantine passes when they step out of their homes in the next 12 days.
"Under MECQ, kailangan natin ng quarantine pass. Pinag-usapan na namin ng mga NCR mayors 'yan...We leave it to the LGU kung paano nila i-implement," Año said in a radio interview.
Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan in Central Luzon, and Cavite, Laguna and Rizal in Calabarzon will revert to MECQ from August 4 to August 15 due to the rising cases of coronavirus infection.
Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield commander, said they will adjust the deployment of policemen to strengthen the conduct of quarantine checkpoints at the borders of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna.
He said they will also boost control points in the borders between cities and municipalities to prevent the people from crossing the borders just to buy basic goods.
"So that only Apor (authorized persons outside residence) will be allowed to pass.'Yun pong mga non-Apor na mag-a-avail o bibili nitong mga goods and services na available, 'yan po ay dapat i-avail nila doon sa lugar nila. Hindi na sila puwedeng mag-cross po ng cities and municipalities," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved Sunday night, August 2, the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to tighten quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and the four provinces, which have been under the less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) in the past two months.
The IATF recommendation was in response to the appeal of the Philippine College of Physicians and about 80 other medical societies for a two-week time-out to “refine our pandemic control strategies.”
MECQ is less restrictive than the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that the medical frontliners sought.
Under the MECQ, majority of the population are required to stay at home. Only one person per household is allowed to step out. Essential personnel and frontliners are exempted.
Mass transport systems are suspended but public shuttles for essential personnel are allowed as well as company shuttles and private vehicles with limited number of passengers.
No domestic flights are allowed while international flights are limited especially for inbound overseas Filipino workers and returning Filipinos.
Año it is up to the local government unit (LGU) to decide whether to allow tricycles to operate provided that only one passenger is allowed for each trip.
“’Yung mga mass transport natin ay stop at ang papayagan natin diyan ‘yung mga (private company) shuttle services point to point. Encourage natin ‘yung mga paggamit ng bikes, motorcycles will be allowed. ‘Yung tricycle will be subjected to the LGUs guidelines kung gusto nila payagan provided one passenger lang din at ang mga APOR na papayagang lumabas at kailangan lang mga neccessities, essentials lang,” he said.
Persons who are between 21 and 59 years old are highly encouraged to stay at home along with children, pregnant women and immunocompromised persons . They will be allowed outside for essential and emergency reasons.
Limited outdoor exercise is allowed such as walking, jogging and biking providing safety protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing is observed as well as gatherings of a maximum of five persons. Inter-island travel is prohibited.