Palace reminds NCR+ residents: Only Apor allowed outside homes


THE bulk of the estimated 25 million population in the National Capital Region (NCR) and provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will remain “homeliners” as the area, known as NCR plus, shifts to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) Monday, April 12, 2021.

“Lahat pa rin po tayo, homeliners,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said Monday.

Those allowed to go out are persons procuring essential good and services, those working in permitted offices or establishments, and other authorized persons outside residence (Apor).

Persons under 18 and over 65, pregnant women and those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity and other health risks are required to stay at home at all times.

Local government units (LGUs), however, may relax the minimum age requirement and also allow teenagers who are 15 to 17 years old to go out depending on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation in their area.

In Metro Manila, the mayors have agreed to adjust the curfew to 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. under MECQ, which will be in effect until April 30, 2021.

In Cavite, Governor Jonvic Remulla said curfew hours will be from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue to operate checkpoints to implement curfew and other MECQ guidelines.

Public transport systems are allowed to operate at a capacity specified by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Biking is encouraged.

Free rides for health workers and medical frontliners will also continue, the DOTr said.

Face-to-face or in-person classes remain suspended.

Gatherings outside residences as well as gatherings in residences with any person who is not part of the household are prohibited.

Religious gatherings will now be allowed at 10 percent of capacity, which the LGU may increase to 30 percent.

Based on a resolution by the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, gatherings that are allowed under MECQ are necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than Covid-19.

However, only immediate family members are allowed to attend with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards for the duration of the activity.

Only gatherings that are essential for the provision of health services, government services, or humanitarian activities authorized by the appropriate government agency or instrumentality are allowed.

Hospitals and other health and dental facilities, groceries, food and medicine manufacturing, agriculture, financials services including banks and remittance centers, call centers, media establishments, water supply and janitorial or sanitation services, energy sector, telecommunications, printing, security agencies, airline services repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment, real estate and employment activities are allowed to operate at full on-site capacity.

The Department of Trade and Industry may also issue a negative list of industries which should remain close under the MECQ.

Those not permitted to operate are as follows:

  • Entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas
  • Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;
  • Amusement parks or theme parks, fairs (perya), kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom and kiddie rides;
  • Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games, or activities;
  • Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;
  • Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except for the draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office;
  • Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;
  • Outdoor tourist attractions;
  • Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions;
  • Personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical aesthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments including establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing and similar services. Home service for these activities are likewise not permitted; and
  • Indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries.

The IATF also encourages work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements, whenever applicable.

Government agencies will be fully operational with a skeleton workforce on-site depending on the discretion of the head.

Only hotels or accommodation establishments with valid Department of Tourism (DOT) accreditation shall be allowed to accommodate guests and clients for legitimate purposes under a state of public health emergency.

The ancillary establishments within their premises such as restaurants, cafés, gyms, spas, function halls, and the like, should follow the guidelines issued by the DOT and the IATF.

Roque said dine-in services will only be allowed in al fresco restaurants while take-out and delivery services will be maintained.

Individual outdoor exercises such as outdoor walks, jogging, running or biking, are allowed within the general area of their residence provided, that the minimum public health standards and precautions such as the wearing of face masks, and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)


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