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Stay Home: What You Can and Can't Do During the Luzon-Wide Enhanced Community Quarantine

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Photography: Unsplash/Alexandre Chambon

On March 16, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Luzon will be under enhanced community quarantine, starting 12:00 a.m. of March 17 and ending at 12:00 a.m., April 13. This is in an effort to slow down and eventually put to stop the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country. 

Based on the implementing guidelines explained by cabinet officials in an earlier press briefing, here's what you can and can't do during this period:

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  • You CAN'T loiter, as strict home quarantine measures should be observed. You CAN leave your home only if you are to buy basic necessities. Essential establishments, such as "public markets, supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies and drug stores, food preparation and delivery services, water-refilling stations, manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines, banks, money transfer services, power, energy, water and telecommunications supplies and facilities" shall remain open.
  • You CAN work, as long as it's from your home. You CAN go to work if you're part of a skeletal force running essential establishments, BPOs, and export-oriented industires for as long as you and your company observe strict social measures. You CAN go to work if you're a media personnel, provided that you have secured an identification card from the Presidential Communications Operations Office within 72 hours of the issuance of the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary. Otherwise, you CAN'T travel to work within the quarantined area as mass public transport facilities shall be suspended.
  • You CAN fly out of Luzon for a period of 72 hours from the effectivity of the enhanced community quarantine.
  • You CAN fly in Luzon as long as you're a resident, have a Permanent Resident Visa, or have Diplomat Visas, for as long as you're subjected to quarantine procedures especially if you're coming from a country with travel restrictions due to COVID-19.

The government assures the public that it will support those who will be most affected by this move to contain the novel coronavirus. The Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Labor and Employment, as well as the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and Department of Trade and industry will be in coordination to help with the funding needed by those who won't be able to work. Efforts will include but are not limited to "moratorium on lease rentals, advancing a pro-rated thirteenth (13th) month pay, reprieve in utility bills, and assistance to micro, small and medium-scale enterprises."

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