Philippines to start opening up more sectors under modified quarantine measures - Palace
The Philippine government is likely to open up at least 30 sectors, mostly in the services, under both the enhanced and general community quarantine, while there are more sectors to be allowed to operate under the GCQ amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the sectors and industries, which the Department of Trade and Industry has proposed to be opened, were not yet formally approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and President Rodrigo Duterte but "there's a consensus already."
Beginning May 1, the modified quarantine measures will be implemented until May 15.
Under the revised IATF list, the areas under ECQ beginning May 1 are Metro Manila; Region III or Central Luzon except Aurora province; Region IV-A or Calabarzon; Pangasinan; Benguet, including Baguio City; Iloilo; Cebu, including Cebu City; and Davao City.
Roque said the areas, which are not included under ECQ are covered by GCQ, provided that as a precondition, minimum health standards are achieved and continuously observed. GCQ covers areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with "low-risk" and moderate-risk" COVID-19 infection.
"General community quarantine in low-risk areas may be lifted after May 15, 2020 should no deterioration in their risk level occur," the spokesman said.
The sectors, which are both allowed to operate during the ECQ and GCQ are agriculture and fisheries and its entire value chain, including manufacturing of feeds and fertilizers and pesticides; and manufacturing and processing plants and the entire value chain raw materials, inputs, including packaging) of basic food products, essential products, medicine and medical supplies.
For services sector, allowed to operate under both ECQ and GCQ are hospitals and medical clinics; dental and EENT clinics (with strict health standards); retail establishments (groceries, supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores, public markets, pharmacies, and drug stores); food preparations and water refilling stations; logistics service providers (cargo handling, warehousing, trucking, freight forwarding, and shipping line); delivery services, whether or not e-commerce platform, in-house or outsourced, transporting only food, water, medicine, pet food, hardware products, or other basic necessities; delivery services, whether or not e-commerce platform, in-house or outsourced, for products other than above, such as clothing and accessories, and office supplies; banks and capital markets;
Power, energy, water, IT and telecommunications supplies and facilities, waste disposal services, technical services to above utilities; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; postal and courier activities; water collection, treatment and supply; waste collection, treatment and disposal activities, except materials recovery (junk shop); sewerage (except emptying of septic tanks); veterinary activities; repair and installation of machinery and equipment; repair of computers and personal and household goods; services to buildings and landscape activities (except landscape care);
Employment activities (manpower services for essential activities); security and investigation activities; programming and broadcasting activities; rental and leasing activities (except for entertainment/mass gathering purposes); accommodation (used as quarantine facilities for overseas Filipino workers and overseas Filipinos, as well as temporary accommodation for essential industries such as healthcare facilities, banks, business process outsourcing, exporters and other frontline service sectors); extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas; gasoline stations; laundry shops (including self-service); funeral services;
Export companies (with temporary accommodation and shuttle services, work from home); business process outsourcing companies (with temporary accommodation and shuttle services, work from home); and mining and quarrying.
Meanwhile, the sectors not allowed during the ECQ but allowed during GCQ are the following:
Other manufacturing activities, involving beverages (non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks); cement and steel; electrical machinery; wood products, furniture; non-metallic products; textiles/wearing apparels; tobacco products; paper and paper products; rubber and plastic products; coke and refined petroleum products; other non-metallic mineral products; computer, electronic and optical products; electrical equipment; machinery and equipment; motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; other transport equipment;
Malls and commercial centers (include hardware stores, clothing and accessories, and non-leisure stores); barbershops, salon, spas, and other personal care industries; wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; construction and Build Build Build; forestry and logging; publishing activities; motion picture, video and television program production, sound recording and music publishing activities; advertising and market research;
Real estate activities; office administrative, office support and other business activities; legal and accounting; insurance, reinsurance, and pension funding, except compulsary social security; architecture and engineering activities, technical testing and analysis; scientific and research development; other professional, scientific,a nd technical activities; social work activities without accommodation; and government office-frontline offices.
The sectors which are not allowed to operate during both the ECQ and GCQ are gyms/fitness studios and sports facilities; entertainment-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to theaters, cinemas, large concerts, festivals, carnivals, conventions, shows, pubs and bars; business-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to trade shows, conferences, conventions, workshops, retreats; politically-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to election rallies, polling centers, parades, speeches/addresses;
Sports-related mass gatherings, including but not limited to trainings, games, tournaments, championships; libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural activities; gambling and betting activities; travel agency, tour operator, reservation service and related activities; and activities of membership organizations.
Roque said starting May 4, Higher Education Institutions shall be authorized to operate with a skeletal workforce in areas not under ECQ, only for the purposes of finishing the Academic Year 2019-2020, to issue credentials to students, and to prepare for flexible learning arrangements for the next academic year.
Under the ECQ, Roque said stringent quarantine measures will be enforced until May 15; public transportation system are suspended; only essential businesses and services are allowed to operate; and subject to further evaluation before transitioning to GCQ.
On the other hand, under GCQ, there will be relaxed quarantine measures starting May 1; public transport are allowed but in reduced capacity; 50-100 percent reopening of select establishments subject to minimum health standards; and if there is no further deterioration, the GCQ will be relaxed.
Duterte has placed the entire Luzon, including Metro Manila, under ECQ starting March 17 until April 30. Beginning May 1, there will be modified quarantine measures to be enforced until May 15 to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. Celerina Monte/DMS