Starting today (May 1), logistics services are among sectors that may operate fully in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), according to newly released guidelines by the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Jr., in a media briefing on April 30, said the guidelines are among those contained in IATF Resolution No. 30, which provides rules for implementation of GCQ and enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Areas still under ECQ until May 15 are the following: National Capital Region; Central Luzon except Aurora; CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon); Pangasinan; Benguet; Iloilo; Cebu (Cebu City and Cebu Province); Bacolod City; and Davao City.
Most other areas in the Philippines are under GCQ.
For both GCQ and ECQ areas, cargo movement will remain unhampered, a national directive all local government units should abide with, according to IATF.
Under the ECQ, cargo vehicles as well as vehicles used by public utility companies, business process outsourcing companies, and export-oriented establishments, should not be subject to an ID system.
The RapidPass system will be complementary to existing IATF IDs and honored in all quarantine checkpoints. Enrollment for RapidPass IDs will be voluntary and cover only qualified private sector entities or persons.
The Philippine National Police retains its authority to conduct inspection procedures in checkpoints only for ensuring that protocols on strict home quarantine are observed.
Apart from logistics, other industries allowed full operation under GCQ are:
- Food manufacturing and its entire supply chain
- Food retail (supermarket, market, and restaurant for takeout and delivery only),
- Healthcare (hospitals, clinics, drugstores),
- Information technology
Establishments that can operate at 50-100% capacity under GCQ are the following:
- Mining and other manufacturing
- E-commerce companies,
- Delivery for essential and non-essential items
- Repair and maintenance services
- Housing and office services
Establishments that can operate at 50% capacity are the following:
- Financial services
- Business process outsourcing
- Legal and accounting and auditing services
- Professional scientific, technical, and other non-leisure services
- Other non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments
Not allowed to operate are the following:
- Fitness establishments
- Those in the kids and the tourism industries
- Hotel or similar establishments, except those accommodating the following:
For areas outside Luzon, guests who have existing booking accommodations for foreigners as of May 1, 2020;
b. Guests who have existing long-term bookings;
c. Distressed OFWs and stranded Filipinos or foreign nationals;
d. Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols;
e. Non-OFWs who may be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine; and
f. Healthcare workers and other employees from exempted establishments under these
Minimum public health standards shall be complied with at all times for the duration of the GCQ. All persons are mandated to wear face masks or such other protective equipment whenever they go out of their residences.
There will be limited operations in malls and shopping centers, except for leisure establishments and services which will remain closed.
Persons aged below 21 years old, and those 60 years old and above may not enter malls and shopping centers, except when obtaining essential goods and services or for work in such establishments.
Essential public and private construction projects, not limited to sewerage, water services facilities, and digital works, and health facilities, and priority projects, will be allowed to operate in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The road, rail, maritime and aviation sectors of public transportation will operate at 50% capacity in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Transportation. In all public transport, a strict one meter distance between passengers shall be observed.
Work in government offices may be at full operational capacity or under alternative work arrangements.
Physical classes remain suspended for the duration of the GCQ.
Prohibited are mass gatherings in areas placed under GCQ; essential work gatherings and religious activities may continue as long as strict social or physical distancing, defined as the strict maintenance of at least two-meters distance between and among those attending, and the mandatory wearing of face mask, face shield, or other facial protective equipment by attendees, is maintained during the entirety of the event.
Under IATF guidelines on interzonal movement (transit of people and goods from an ECQ area to a GCQ area, and vice versa, and an area not under community quarantine to a GCQ or ECQ area, and vice versa), the following applies:
- The movement of all types of cargoes by land, air, or sea within and across areas placed under ECQ or GCQ shall be unhampered. Workers in the logistics sector, such as cargo, trucking, and port operations will be allowed to transit across areas placed under ECQ or GCQ. All LGUs are directed to strictly abide by this national policy. Provided, that only a maximum of five personnel may operate cargo and delivery vehicles by land, with or without load.
- Non-essential entry and exit of people to and from the ECQ zone shall be prohibited, except: (1) health workers, (2) government officials and government frontline personnel, (3) those traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons, (4) persons transiting to the airport for travel abroad, (5) workers in permitted establishments and persons providing essential goods and services and public utilities, (6) essential skeletal workforce, (7) repatriated OFWs and non-OFWs returning to their residences, and (8) other persons transported through the efforts of the national government upon conduct of the necessary quarantine protocols and in concurrence with the receiving LGUs;
- LGUs and local health units are enjoined not to issue orders contrary to or inconsistent with said directive, such as, but not limited to, requiring asymptomatic drivers and crew of cargo or service delivery vehicles to undergo mandatory 14-day home quarantine. Strict physical distancing measures must be strictly observed, which may include, if necessary, the putting up of additional safe and humane seats or space in the vehicles.
- The PNP retains its authority to conduct inspection procedures in checkpoints for the purpose of ensuring that protocols on strict home quarantine are observed.
- Land, air or sea travel by uniformed personnel and government officials and employees for official business, with the corresponding travel authority, especially those transporting medical supplies and laboratory specimens related to COVID-19, and other relief and humanitarian assistance, shall be allowed.
The following sectors are allowed to operate under ECQ:
- Manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products, medicine and vitamins, medical supplies, devices and equipment, and essential products such as but not limited to soap and detergents, diapers, feminine hygiene products, toilet papers and wet wipes, and disinfectants;
- Establishments involved in the production, manufacturing, packaging, processing, and distribution of food may operate at a maximum of 50 percent of their respective workforces, unless the supply level of a basic food product warrants a higher capacity (In this case, the Department of Trade and Industry or DTI is authorized to approve the temporary increase of workforce capacity);
- Manufacturers of medicines, medical supplies, devices and equipment, including but not limited to suppliers of input, packaging, and distribution, will be allowed to operate at full capacity.
- Delivery services, whether in-house or outsourced, transporting food, medicine, or other essential goods;
- Delivery of clothing, accessories, hardware, housewares, school and office supplies, as well as pet food and other veterinary products;
- Capital markets, including but not limited to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission, Philippine Stock Exchange, Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation, Philippine Securities Settlement Corporation, and Philippine Depository and Trust Corporation;
- Power, energy, water, information technology and telecommunications supplies and facilities, including waste disposal services, as well as property management and building utility services;
- Energy companies, their third-party contractors and service providers, including employees involved in electric transmission and distribution, electric power plant and line maintenance, electricity market and retail suppliers, as well as those involved in the exploration, operations, trading and delivery of coal, oil, crude or petroleum and by-products (gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, jet oil, kerosene, lubricants), including refineries and depots or any kind of fuel used to produce electricity;
- Telecommunications companies, internet service providers, cable television providers, including those who perform indirect services such as the technical, sales, and other support personnel, as well as the employees of their third-party contractors doing sales, installation, maintenance and repair works;
- Airline and aircraft maintenance employees, including pilots and crew, and ship captains and crew;
- Media establishments, at a maximum operational capacity of 50 percent of their total permanent staff complement as registered under the Department of Labor and Employment, inclusive of reporters and other field employees, as accredited by the Presidential Communications Operations Office;
- Construction workers accredited by the Department of Public Works and Highways to work on facilities identified for purposes of quarantine and isolation, including such facilities for the health sector, emergency works, flood control, and other disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation works;
- Manufacturing companies and suppliers of equipment or products necessary to perform construction works;
- Workers accredited by the Department of Transportation to work on utility relocation works, and specified limited works across 13 railway projects, including replacement works for the Manila Metro Rail Transit system line. Provided, that where applicable, on-site or near-site accommodations and/or point-to-point shuttle services should be arranged;
- Employees of the Philippine Postal Corporation at a capacity necessary to maintain the prompt delivery of services to its clients;
- The Philippine Statistics Authority, at a capacity necessary to conduct data gathering and survey activities related to COVID-19 and the registration and implementation of the national identification (ID) system;
- Funeral and embalming services. Provided, that funeral service operators are directed to provide shuttling services and/or housing accommodations for their personnel and staff;
- Humanitarian assistance personnel from civil society organizations, non-government organizations and United Nations-Humanitarian Country Teams, as well as individuals performing relief operations to augment the government’s response against COVID-19 and other disasters or calamities that may occur (Provided, that they are authorized by the appropriate government agency or local government or LGU);
- Pastors, priests, imams or such other religious ministers whose movement will be related to the conduct of necrological or funeral rites (In this connection, immediate family members of the deceased from causes other than COVID-19 will be allowed to move from their residences to attend the wake or interment of the deceased upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the latter and social distancing measures);
- Veterinary clinics; and
- Security personnel.
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