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ECQ Laws and Issuances

Question from Email:Please help us to clarify if frontliners are really entitled to a longer than 30-day grace period for their residential rental fees payment. If such is the case, what laws and issuances provide for such entitlement and how long will their grace period be. Likewise, if Metro Manila will already be under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) by July 1, 2020, can lessors already demand rental payments from their frontliner lessees?

Answer: (June 29, 2020)

The guidelines issued by the Department of Trade and Industry do not mention a provision specific to frontliners. It only says that the 30-day grace period covers residential rents, which refers to amount paid for the use or occupancy of a residential unit such as bedspaces, rooms, dormitories, apartments, houses and buildings, falling due within the community quarantine period. If the general community quarantine (GCQ) is lifted by the end of June, there will still be a 30-day grace period for residential rents as guidelines state that the grant of the minimum 30-day grace period for residential rent shall start from the last due date or from the lifting of the ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ, whichever is longer. For more information, click the link below for a copy of the guidelines.

Sources: https://dtiwebfiles.s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/COVID19Resources/COVID-19+Advisories/060620_MC2031.pdf and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1288205/gives-gives-rents-within-coronavirus-lockdown-may-be-amortized-in-6-months

Question from Email: A number of us cruisers (yachties) are getting all sorts of conflicting stories about the requirements for travelling through Palawan, even though the government would seem to have set the OMNI guidelines Resolution 44 for the Nation and encourages the LGU’s not to set different standards, moreover trying to promote a one nation one set of rules. However it would seem many LGU’s are instructing the Coast Guard not to let us into there area, some saying they want a Travel pass other’s saying doesn’t matter what paper work you have, from whom , you’re not coming in here. We are all keen to comply with rules, but often we do not find out until we arrive and each LGU seems to be running its own version, pushed through the Coast Guard. Whom are simply trying to do there job and enforce these rules. As Cruisers/Yachties whom have been in Palawan for some time, by nature we are on the vessel 99.9% of the time often days without setting foot on land even though we might only move 5-10nm., this can mean we have stepped into another LGU’s jurisdiction, sometimes unbeknown to us. My understanding was over and above the Presidents resolution even locally in Palawan we were permitted to move around https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285016/inter-town-travel-now-allowed-in-palawan

Answer: (June 29, 2020)

According to Section 7 (5) of the omnibus guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the movement of persons across Palawan or areas placed under the modified general community quarantine shall be permitted. But when tourism travel is concerned, rules may still be subject to regulations of the local government unit concerned. Because rules may vary, please contact the LGU in the area where you are headed and clarify with them the regulations. You may cite that the inter-town travel restriction in Palawan has been lifted and movement throughout the mainland province is now allowed for all persons. It is best to contact the LGUs in advance to prepare for their specific regulations regarding cruising. You may also contact the Palawan public information office at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PalawanPio.

Source: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/06jun/20200603-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf

Question from Email: My helper,18 years old,plans to return to work for me and to pursue college studies here in Manila , in the 2nd wk of July/next month. Will she be allowed to travel by plane? (From panglao or tagbilaran airport). If not, what are her transportation options by land or sea?

Answer: (June 26, 2020)

Since your helper can be classified as a locally stranded individual, she can be granted a travel authority she can get from the local police station. And although she is below 21 years old (who are prohibited from leaving their homes under existing guidelines in any type of community quarantine), she may travel because she is doing it to resume working. To get the travel authority, she will need a medical certificate. Please see the article below for more information on how to get the travel authority. There are now available commercial flights from Bohol to Manila. Please also note it is important to check with the airlines and LGUs of her destination ahead of her scheduled flight as local airlines may have specific required documents besides the medical certificate and travel authority and the local government units may have other requirements.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285714/travel-authority-only-for-persons-crossing-provincial-regional-borders-eleazar

Question from Email: My business is one of the industries now allowed to operate under GCA. I have a foreign business consultancy job that is pending due to the lockdown of the host country. Now the lockdown is lifted in that country and I am now issued a business visa to complete my consultancy work. My question is under GCQ will I be allowed to leave under a business (consultancy) reason?

Answer: (June 26, 2020)

The Department of Foreign Affairs in its June 21 advisory on travel bans considering the easing of restrictions in other countries still includes Burkina Faso, Japan and France as among the countries Filipinos may not enter. But it says that this info may change without prior or sufficient notice. Travellers even with valid visas or confirmed flights, should consult with relevant Embassies or Consulates of the destination country and ports of transit before booking the ticket. It is also always best to check ahead of travel dates with the airlines that will be used for departure. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 that Filipinos are not allowed yet to leave the country even under the general community quarantine. Under existing guidelines approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), All foreigners can leave anytime but Filipinos are not allowed to leave the country unless they are OFWs or permanent residents or holders of a student visa in their country of destination, according to the Bureau of Immigration.

Sources: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/188019/restrictions-on-international-travel-still-in-effect-under-gcq-says-bi and https://www.facebook.com/pg/dfaphl/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1659312864223541&__tn__=-UC-R

Question from Email: Palawan Travel Inquiry: I am a mother from Baguio City and I have been trying to get my daughter to come home here since March. She was studying there prior to the lockdown while staying with his dad’s new family but her dad is working oversees. Nagbakasakali po ako ang daw an available flight on July 6th so I booked it. What should we do to get her home?

Answer: (June 23, 2020)

Your daughter may be considered a locally stranded individual and is allowed to travel. But she will need to first secure documents including a travel authority and medical certificate. Existing guidelines require people crossing regional or provincial borders for indispensable travels to obtain a travel authority from delegated local police stations. To get the travel authority, she will need a medical certificate. Please see the article below for more information on how to get the travel authority. Please also note it is important to check with the airlines and LGUs ahead of her scheduled flight as local airlines may have specific required documents besides the medical certificate and travel authority and the local government units may have other requirements. Based on the guidelines posted in the Facebook of the Public Information Office – City of Baguio people entering their jurisdiction or returning Baguio residents (RBRs) have to register online at hdf.baguio.gov.ph. Aside from the Palawan medical certificate and PNP travel authority, RBRs are required to present an ID or Barangay Certificate as proof of being a resident of Baguio.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285714/travel-authority-only-for-persons-crossing-provincial-regional-borders-eleazar; https://www.facebook.com/pio.baguio/

Question from Email: I will be fetching my brother-in-law, who is a police officer assigned in Zamboanga, at NAIA Terminal 3. May I confirm that I need to bring a confirmed booking? Do I have to secure a travel authority if I will be coming from Laguna?

Answer: (June 23, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig Gen Bernard Banac told the Inquirer on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 that there is no need for the sender to get a travel authority as this involves an “essential travel of a frontliner cop.”

Question from Email: Good day! I just saw the video of an interview with Sec. Bello regarding provision of transportation by companies for their employees returning to work. The video was published last May 23, 2020 on your Youtube channel. I would just like to inquire if what he mentioned (that employers should provide transpo for their employees) was already under the context of GCQ. It was a short clip and the date was very close already to June 1 when NCR was shifted to GCQ.

I am asking because our company is now requiring us to return to work, and us commuters have been given the option to ride with the shuttle that they will provide for a fee. Although they did advise us that the shuttle fee will all go to the external service provider (the shuttle will be outsourced). The fare, in my case from Manila to Taguig is 400 roundtrip a day. They advised that the shuttle is optional and that companies are not required to provide this service to employees under GCQ. I am going over the guidelines published by IATF and there is no mention of this under GCQ although it states that all other provisions under ECQ unless repealed should stand. Hope you can help enlighten us on this matter. Thank you very much and more power to Inquirer.

Answer: (June 23, 2020)

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), companies are not obliged to provide shuttle services for employees during quarantine. But the department also said that employees who will avail of shuttle services that companies will provide should not be charged for transportation fee. As Metro Manila is still under a general community quarantine, the Palace spokesman Harry Roque reiterated on June 7 their appeal “to the private sector to provide shuttle services to their employees.”

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1287752/palace-allowing-all-modes-of-transportation-will-defeat-purpose-of-quarantine#ixzz6Q4yVzMJ1 and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1277946/private-firms-not-obliged-to-provide-shuttle-services-to-employees-says-dole#ixzz6Q

Question from Facebook: I am currently in Pangil Laguna since start of the ECQ visiting family. I am a balikbayan. I have a flight going back to New Zealand on 7 July. My things and luggage bags are at my condo in Aqua Residences in Mandaluyong City. I wanted to stay for several days at my condo before flying out to sort things out. What are the permits I needed? Thank you

Answer: (June 22, 2020)

Movement of overseas Filipino workers, especially those leaving the country for work abroad, are allowed under any form of quarantine, according to the latest omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine. You may also be accompanied by one person, who shall also be allowed to return to his or her point of origin. Checks are now only done at random, but you need copies of flight details for you and your companion just in case you are flagged at checkpoints.

Sources: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/06jun/20200603-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf; https://globalnation.inquirer.net/188019/restrictions-on-international-travel-still-in-effect-under-gcq-says-bi and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1283333/gcq-no-reason-to-relax-travel-restrictions-pnp

Question from Email: Pwede na po bang pumunta ng banks ang senior citizen under general community quarantine?

Answer: (June 22, 2020)

Opo, maaari kayong lumabas para mag-bangko. Ayon sa guidelines sa mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng general community quarantine, ang mga senior citizens at indibidwal na 21 pababa ay hindi pa rin maaaring lumabas ng bahay maliban na lamang kung may gagawing mahalaga gaya ng pagpunta sa bangko. Mag-ingat lamang sa paglabas at laging magsuot ng face mask at laging i-praktis ang physical distancing.

Question from Email: From La union po kami, and reporting back to work next week sa Manila. Ihahatid po ako ng brother ko sa manila pero balikan din po siya sa La Union. Ask ko lang po ano need niya to present sa check points? Ang sabi naman po sa amin from police station, medcert lang and ID. Ang worry po kasi namin baka hanapan ung driver ng travel pass pabalik ng La Union.

Answer: (June 22, 2020)

Kailangan munang makakuha ng travel pass ang kapatid ng sender bago niya maipagda-drive ang kanyang kapatid sa La Union. Hinihingi ng PNP ang mga tumatawid ng border ng travel authority o pass mula sa police station na sakop ng kanilang tinitirhan. Kaya aplikable ito sa sender at sa kapatid na kailangan makauwi sa La Union. Bago makakuha ng travel pass, kailangan munang makakuha ng medical certificate barangay health center at saka ito ipakita sa pulisya.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285714/travel-authority-only-for-persons-crossing-provincial-regional-borders-eleazar/

Question from Email: Magandang araw po, ask lang po ako if allowed ba umuwi ng probinsiya ang private vehicles na inarkila lang, then kung need pa po travel pass at medical clearance since may reason naman po kasi yung tito ko po na pumanaw na at na crimate na is iuuwi po namin ng probinsiya dahil doon po siya ililibing nasa laguna po kami ngayon. At kung sakali man po na need pa ng travel pass isa lang po ba need since tatlo kaming babyahe or tag iisa po kami? Yun lamang po maraming salamat

Answer: (June 22, 2020)

Nire-require pa rin ng PNP ang mga tumatawid sa mga regional at provincial borders ng travel authority. Ito ay upang hindi kumalat ang Covid-19. Ibig sabihin kailangan pa rin ng sender at ng kanyang dalawang kasamahan na kumuha ng travel authority para makabiyahe sa Laguna at para madala ang labi ng kanilang tiyo pabalik sa kanilang tahanan. Ang mga pribadong sasakyan, kahit nirentahan ay pinapayagan makatawid ng border.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285714/travel-authority-only-for-persons-crossing-provincial-regional-borders-eleazar/

Question from Facebook: Hello po. Can I travel from Bulacan to Antipolo City? Andun po kasi yung work ko. Bali, doon po ako nagpapart-time before and now the owner wants me to stay in there kasi they lack manpower na po. Makakatawid po ba ako ng Metro Manila? If possible, ano-ano pong mga documents na kailangan ko i-prepare? Maraming salamat po!

Answer: (June 20, 2020)

Yes, traveling across provinces or regions for permitted work are allowed and exempted from the travel pass, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government. You may bring your work ID or other documents and papers such as a certificate of employment that will prove your work-related trip. For more information, click the link below.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1179

Question from Viber: I will just inquire regarding the process of quarantine. My mother is having her vacation in Switzerland and is scheduled to come home on June 30. She recently had a brain surgery due to stroke. We are concerned that her condition is not suitable for the quarantine. Me and my husband are both doctors. I am currently working in a clinic that performs both swabbing for RT – PCR and Rapid antibody testing. Is it possible to do her quarantine at home as I need to closely monitor her. She will be considered a PWD. I’m having a hard time. I already called the airport, DFA and Philippine coast guard but they cant answer me.

Answer: (June 16, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer on June 16, 2020 that the sender should communicate in advance through the Department of Foreign Affairs post in Switzerland her request to have her mother undergo home quarantine due to her recent surgery. “(This is) so that their request for exemption can be relayed to and evaluated by the Bureau of Quarantine ahead of time,” Banac said. The government requires all returning Filipinos to undergo a 14-day quarantine in government facilities while waiting for the results of their Covid-19 tests.

Source: https://globalnation.inquirer.net./188062/repatriated-filipinos-required-to-undergo-quarantine-in-govt-facilities/

Question from Email: Regarding Foreign spouses to enter Philippines, you have published in your FAQ that they are allowed to enter philippines as long as there are proof of marriage, but why does the website of Bureau of Immigration stated that those who didn’t have visa even they are married to Filipinos can not enter the Philippine territory? In all Philippine embassy and consulates around the world Visa issuance is suspended. So what about our foreign spouses who needs visa? How they can enter Philippines to be with their family?

Answer: (June 16, 2020)

Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the sender needs an entry visa to come into the country to rejoin his Filipino wife and family. Sandoval said the sender is eligible for the entry visa as he is exempted from the suspension of visa issuances in Philippine consulates and embassies. She said the sender should “coordinate with the nearest embassy to him.” Under existing guidelines approved by the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Filipino citizens as well as their spouses and children are among those allowed to enter the country.

Source: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/188075/no-decision-yet-to-allow-entry-of-foreigners-in-ph-palace-says

Question from Email: I am a Locally stranded individual who’s also a senior citizen. I plan to travel from Samar back to Quezon City by end of June or early July. Also, there’s family with a 3 year old son who also plans to travel back from Samar to Manila. We’re on MGCQ but I understand that seniors and below 21 yr olds are not again allowed to go outside their house. Does this restriction include the travel of seniors and below 21 yrs old? If we can travel, do we need to be quarantined?

Answer: (June 16, 2020)

Since you can be classified as locally stranded individual (LSI) you can apply for a travel authority from the nearest police station in your area. A Medical Clearance Certification to be issued by the City/Municipal Health Office is needed by the police to consider your request for travel pass. The clearance is based on the following conditions: 1) That the LSI is neither a contact, a suspect or probable or confirmed COVID-19 case; that the LSI completed a 14-day quarantine based on the quarantine standards set by the DOH or that the LSI confirmed as a COVID-19 case was tested negative through a RT-PCR twice. But, take note that in both Samar and Quezon City, seniors and those below 21 years old are under strict home quarantine and are not allowed to go out. It is best to sound out first the police if you can be given an exemption before you get a medical clearance as it has limited validity. For clarification call the PNP Helpline 16677.

Sources: http://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/dilg-memocircular-2020520_87.pdf; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1273099/covid-19-task-force-warns-against-unnecessary-travel-if-ecq-is-lifted and  https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1102544

Question from Email: Good day po! Ask ko lang. I’m here in Manila, currently unemployed po ako and my PRC ID expired last March. I had an appointment in Robinsons Dasmariñas, Cavite (I chose the said branch because my family permanently lives in Cavite) to renew my ID, I already paid for the renewal fee, but since nagka-ECQ, I was not able to process it. Now, hindi pa po ako makapag-apply ng work because a valid PRC ID is usually being required by employers. Ask ko lang if do I still need to secure a travel pass/travel authority to process my PRC ID Renewal? Thank you po.

Answer: (June 13, 2020)

No, you do not need a travel pass to process your ID renewal at your chosen Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) regional office or service center. The Department of Interior and Local Government said that those who need to cross to another province or region for work-related undertakings are exempted from the travel pass requirement. You may bring your old PRC ID, appointment slip, other valid IDs and documents to show that you are in the process of applying for work.

Source: https://dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1179

Question from Email: I am here po sa Laguna ngayon,plan ko po pumunta ng Cubao dun ho kasi ako sasakay ng bus papuntang Bicol and after Bicol po balik Cubao then uwi na po ng Zamboanga.

By the way,kaka 60years old lang po ni papa inabutan narin sya dito ng lockdown sa Laguna.

Tanong ko lang po kung anung mga kailangan ko pong documents para makatravel po also for my dad’s case dahil po sa age nya.

Answer: (June 13, 2020)

You will need a travel pass as those who need to cross to another province or region during the general community quarantine are required to secure a travel pass. The travel pass can be obtained from the help desk of the Philippine National Police (PNP) station nearest to you, according to DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya. When applying, you must bring a medical certificate from your local health office. You may also bring a valid ID in case it will be needed. But if you are traveling for permitted work-related reasons, you will not need a travel pass. Instead, be ready with your company ID.

Meanwhile, under the guidelines, those who are 60 years old and above are still required to remain in their residences during GCQ unless absolutely needed for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted sectors.

For more information on travel and passes during GCQ, click the link below. For clarifications, on your and your father’s situation, you may contact PNP Helpline 16677 or seek assistance from your local government unit.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285714/travel-authority-only-for-persons-crossing-provincial-regional-borders-eleazar; https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1179 and https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200522-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf

Question from Email: Do you guys happen to know the latest news regarding quarantine and covid-19 testing upon arrival in Manila Airport? My mom would like to go home to Davao City. Her flight would be from US to Manila to Davao. Will she have to undergo quarantine in Manila even though her final destination is Davao City? If so, how long, what documentations does she have to get, which hospitals can she go to get tested and which hotels can she stay at? Thank you.

Answer: (June 13, 2020)

All returning Filipinos and foreigners are required to undergo testing and quarantine procedures upon arrival in the airport, regardless of their final stop. Upon arrival, your mother will undergo an orientation, documentation via “one-stop shop” and swab tests. Your mother will then be sent to a quarantine facility while waiting for the test results (approximately two to five days). Accommodation is at your mother’s expense, unless she is an overseas Filipino worker. The airport staff will coordinate with you regarding the available hotels or facilities repurposed as isolation areas. Those who test positive will be referred to a hospital or another quarantine facility, while those who test negative will be allowed to go home.The Department of Transportation or the local government unit shall assist you in your transportation going home. In the latest guidelines of Davao City, those returning to Davao City do not need documents, but they will be screened upon arrival at the airport. Just be ready with the medical clearance you got from your initial quarantine in Manila.

Sources: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2656333051307362;
http://immigration.gov.ph/images/News/2020_Yr/05_May/2020May29_Press.pdf and
https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=3264370813614418&set=pcb.3264386370279529

Question from Facebook: un po bang church gathering allowed na mag attend yung ages below 21 at 60 above?

Answer: (June 10, 2020)

Mass gatherings for religious purposes are still restricted as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) only allows a maximum of 10 persons for such gatherings in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), and five persons in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Under the omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine issued by the IATF-MEID, any person below 21 years old, those who are 60 years old and above, and those with health risks should stay in their homes at all times in areas under MECQ and GCQ except when obtaining essential goods and services and for work in permitted industries.

Also, according to the guidelines proposed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the elderly and the sick, children and the young should stay at home and that they be dispensed from the obligation to attend mass during this time when vaccine is not yet available and the threat of the virus is still widespread.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1276622/cbcp-issues-guidelines-for-liturgical-celebrations#ixzz6OwLv8m4q;
https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200522-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf and
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285286/mass-gatherings-for-religious-activities-still-banned#ixzz6OwOQxFYG

Question from Email: I tried to get a haircut at Bruno’s Barbers, Powerplant, but was refused because of their “compliance with the IATF guidelines” that seniors are not allowed to leave their homes for non-essential activities. Their interpretation appears that going to the barbershop for a haircut is a non-essential activity.

Please clarify with IATF and/or DTI if the prohibitions on Section 4(3) of the IATF Omnibus Guidelines covering seniors (60 y/o and aboce) and the youth (below 21 y/o) apply to going to barbershops for a haircut.

It may be noted that seniors and the youth are allowed to play outdoor non-contact sports under GCQ, based on Section 4(13) of the aforementioned IATF Omnibus Guidelines which include this EXPLICIT provision: “For this purpose, the prohibition in Section 4(3) does not apply.”

Answer: (June 10, 2020)

In a text message to the Inquirer, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, that according to Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano, only seniors who are “physically fit and no health issues” are allowed to go out to get a haircut but “on limited time.” “For others, they should just get home service (to have a haircut) so there will be no unnecessary exposure (to Covid-19),” Roque quoted Ano as saying. Metro Manila remains under a general community quarantine which still requires seniors to stay at home and only go out for essential goods and services.

Question from Email: I am Foreigner National married to a Filipina. I want to come home to Cavite after finishing my Work Rotation for a Shipping company. I am not a holder of a Resident Card but I have with me proof of Marriage and proof of Residence. Am I allowed to Fly in to Philippines and be approved to Enter? Somebody told me that rule at the moment is that I will need to enter Philippines together with my Wife to be allowed to Enter.

Answer: (June 10, 2020)

Both presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Bureau of Immigration acting spokesperson Melvin Mabulac told the Inquirer you can come to the Philippines even if you are not accompanied by your Filipino wife. Roque said all you need is your marriage contract. Mabulac echoed this, saying: “Regardless if he is a resident or not in the Philippines, for as long as he is married to a Filipino national then he can enter, just provide proof of marriage to a Filipino national.”

Question from Email: I am a foreigner living in the Philippines on a tourist visa. I signed a lease for a place in Puerto Princesa but have been unable to move there because of the lockdown. I am staying in Manila and my lease here will end soon. I am trying to get to Puerto Princesa. Does my situation classify me as a stranded individual? I do not consider this leisure travel because I was supposed to move there completely. Can I apply for a travel permit?

Answer: (June 9, 2020)

Among those identified as locally stranded individuals (LSIs) are foreign nationals including tourists who wish to return to their residence or place of origin, according to the National Task Force Against COVID-19. You may clarify this with the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Disease Shield (JTF COVID Shield) at 0998-849-0013, 0917-538-2495, PNP Helpline 16677 or through its email address [email protected] If the JTF COVID Shield confirms your classification as LSI, you need to apply for a travel pass since you will be traveling outside Metro Manila. Only LSIs who are traveling within Metro Manila or within a province are exempt from getting a travel authority. You only need to secure a medical certificate from the city health office and submit it to help desks in the nearest police station. Your travel pass will be issued either by the provincial director, city director or district director.

Sources: http://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/dilg-memocircular-2020520_87.pdf; http://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Final-NTF-Order-No-2-Operational-Guidelines-on-Management-of-LSIs.pdf; https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=149828266679775&set=a.149828206679781 and https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1104653

Question from Email: My husband is scheduled to come to the Philippines from Arkansan USA in July. Will he be asked to stay in a quarantine area/place or just do self quarantine?

Answer: (June 9, 2020)

Yes, your husband will be required to undergo testing and quarantine procedures upon arrival at the airport, based on the latest guidelines. All returning Filipinos will be subject to an orientation, processing of documents via “one-stop shop” and swab tests. While waiting for the test results (approximately two to five days), your husband will be sent to a quarantine facility at his own expense if he is not an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). If he tests positive, he will be referred to a hospital or another quarantine facility. If he tests negative, he will be allowed to go home. However, only Filipino citizens and their spouses and dependents, foreign diplomats and foreign airline crew members are allowed entry in the country. Filipinos holding foreign passports may not be allowed to enter the country if they do not have dual citizenship.

Sources: http://immigration.gov.ph/images/News/2020_Yr/05_May/2020May29_Press.pdf; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1285320/new-rules-await-passengers-as-flights-resume-in-8-ph-airports#ixzz6OlL8fpbz; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2656333051307362 and https://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/20200603-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf

Question from Facebook: Hi! I’m working as a hospital pharmacist here in Quezon City and I would like to go home in Pampanga. My father is planning to fetch me this weekend. Will my ID, COE be enough as travel pass for my father? Thank you!

Answer: (June 9, 2020)

(June 9, 424PM) Yes, your father may bring a copy of your ID, certificate of employement and his own ID which he willl present at random checkpoints in areas under the general community quarantine. He may show these documents at checkpoints as proof that he is picking you up from work, given that your job is considered essential. The Department of the Interior and Local Government had said that you will not need a travel pass if you are crossing provincial and regional borders for work-related undertakings.

Source: https://dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1179

Question for Email: My partner and I are residing in Muntinlupa. We contacted a relative to help us to fetch my 10-month old baby boy from General Trias, Cavite by using his private car. My baby has been with my parents before the quarantine and lockdown period. Gusto na po kasi naming makuha yung anak namin since hindi na maaalagaan ng parents ko specially online classes na din at may dalawang apo pa syang inaalagaan dun. My partner and I already have the medical certificate from the barangay health center. What are the other requirements to bring? Thank you.

Answer: (June 4, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inqurer on Thursday, June 4, 2020, that it would be better if they secure a travel pass in case there is a checkpoint and they will not be allowed to return. Banac advised the couple to pass by the Muntinlupa Police Station. Previously, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force Covid Shield, travel authority will only be required if the travels are outside Metro Manila and outside provinces.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1104653

Question from Email: Hi, good afternoon! I was scrolling through Twitter to look for contacts that would entertain a few of my questions regarding travel amid GCQ and I hope this e-mail finds you well. I am currently in the province and all of my things are left in Manila. The landlord shortly informed us about moving out of the apartment this week. Can I travel to and fro Manila? Are we allowed to travel for that purpose? If so, what requirements should I secure?

Answer: (June 4, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, that the sender can return to Metro Manila so she could get her things from the apartment. But the sender has to get a travel permit first from the city or municipal police station of the province where she is now residing. The local government there also has to issue a health certificate that she needs to bring in going to Manila.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1779

Question from Viber: Our house renovation project in Cavite was stopped because of the virus outbreaks and lockdown. Can builders go back to work now given that Cavite was already in GCQ? Also as I leave in Makati, am I allowed to travel using a private car to visit the site (and vice versa) without a travel pass?

Answer: (June 4, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, that the sender can go to Cavite to have his house renovations completed. Banac reminded the sender to go to the Makati City police station to apply for a travel permit. Likewise, the sender should also get a health certificate from the Makati city government.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1779

Question from Email: Would you know if I can travel from Marikina to Manila for my medical as a requirement in my student visa application? The accredited clinic for lab test is there.

Answer: (June 3, 2020)

Yes, you will be allowed to travel. JTF CV Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement on June 2 that indispensable travels such as for medical and family emergencies within Metro Manila and within a province are permitted without a travel authority. Read more about the latest information on traveling during general community quarantine in the link below.

Source:  https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1104653

Question from Email: Good day! We are currently scheduling our manpower in accordance to the curfew hours of the ECQ. Since Metro Manila is now under GCQ, what documents do we need to show when we need to go to work and go back home at checkpoints? While we understand that company ID’s and COE’s would be sufficient at checkpoints to go to work, we would just want to make sure on what we need to present when we go back home as we would like to avoid the hassle and unnecessary problems that this small issue would give. To add to my question, we have employees located and living outside metro manila, what’s the procedure for them when they need to go to work and back home.

Answer: (June 3, 2020)

The movement of workers in permitted sectors to their workplace and back home is allowed during the general community quarantine and you are correct that a company ID and certificate of employment are enough to present at checkpoints, as previously stated by government officials. However, if you want to avoid inconvenience, a designated representative of your company can apply for a RapidPass for you and the other employees. Please click this link (https://dict.gov.ph/rapidpass/) to download the form and read the instructions for applying. For any issue encountered by authorized personnel of qualified establishments at checkpoints, you may immediately report at 09266126728 (COVID Rapid Response Team or 09560916570 (DTI Command Center). You may also refer to the links below for more information on permitted sectors and guidelines in the implementation of the community quarantine.

Sources:  https://dict.gov.ph/rapidpass/; https://www.dti.gov.ph/advisories/advisory-updates-on-iatf-ids/; https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Spox-Final-Briefing-Deck_13May2020.pdf and https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200522-IATF-RESOLUTION-NO-38.pdf

Question from Email: My wife and I are QC residents. With the NCR now under GCQ, we would very much like to visit our house located in Tagaytay City, which has remained unoccupied since March 16, 2020, the start of the ECQ at NCR.

The main purpose of our visit to Tagaytay is to inspect and check our house. Being unoccupied close to 3 months to-date, the house would certainly require upkeep, extensive cleaning and, worse, repairs due to possible water seepage resulting from the frequent rains in the area.

We will bring in this trip our 2 kasambahay to assist in cleaning and/or repairs.

For this purpose, may we seek your advise on how to secure the document/s required, specifically the ff:

1. What document or documents must be secured prior to our QC to Tagaytay City?

2. Where do we apply to secure the document?

3. What are the additional documents, if any, that are needed to support the application?

4. To properly schedule the trip to Tagaytay, what is the typical processing time (from filing of application to approval/release) of the document/s?

Thank you and looking to your prompt response.

Answer: (June 2, 2020)

Those who need to cross to another province or region during GCQ are required to secure a travel pass, except when they are traveling for permitted work-related reasons, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said. Since you are traveling for a personal undertaking, you and your companions must apply for a travel pass to cross Tagaytay. This can be obtained at the help desk of the Philippine National Police (PNP) station nearest to you, according to DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya. When applying, you must bring a medical certificate from your local health office. You may also bring a valid ID in case it will be needed. During your travel, it is important that you observe minimum health standards, wear face mask and practice physical distancing. For more information on travel and passes during GCQ, click the link below. For clarifications, you may contact PNP Helpline 16677.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1179

Question from Email: I’m sending you email regarding curfew hours. I read the article regarding curfew hours as below: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1283537/curfew-hours-to-stay-even-during-gcq-roque/amp

Two questions came up to me, 1. What is the starting and ending time for curfew under GCQ in NCR? 2. is it true that curfew is exempted in the case exceeded curfew hours due to work?

Answer: (June 02, 2020)

According to government guidelines, local government units (LGU) are mandated to enact ordinances to enforce curfew in their jurisdictions during general community quarantine so curfew hours may vary from one city to another. At the start of the lockdown, several LGUs in Metro Manila imposed an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. You may get in touch with your LGU to confirm the curfew hours in your area. Further, curfew will only be for non-workers so those who work in businesses permitted to resume operation during GCQ are exempted.

Sources: Page 23 https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200515-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf and https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-Quarantine-passes-no-longer-needed-by-June-1-unless-required-by-LGUs-in-specific-locations-travel-pass-to-provinces-and-curfews-remains/NC-2020-1179

Question from Email: My father is a Senior Citizen but still works as a Sales Agent of Hardware goods. We are residing in Pampanga but his area is Tarlac, Pangasinan, Bataan, Olongapo and Pampanga. He usually commutes to these provinces by schedule and goes home daily. Since by next month we will be on GCQ, I plan to drive for him using our private car since he doesn’t know how to drive. Do we still need to apply for a RapidPass or will company ID do?

Answer: (May 30, 2020)

Your father’s company ID will be honored at checkpoints. Under the omnibus guidelines, movement in areas under the general community quarantine is allowed as long as it is not for leisure. Your father should bring his company ID or other documents proving he has to travel for work. You may bring any official ID with your address, not necessarily a company ID, to present at checkpoints where you may explain that you are driving your father to and from his work.

Sources: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200522-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf; https://www.dti.gov.ph/advisories/advisory-updates-on-iatf-ids/ and https://www.dti.gov.ph/advisories/advisory-updates-on-iatf-ids/

Question from Email: Is authority to travel or any other document required in order for me to be allowed to travel back to my province? I plan to schedule my flight back to Cebu in the first week of June 2020 if GCQ will already be implemented in Metro Manila. If so, what are the requirements to be issued an authority to travel?

Answer: (May 30, 2020)

Under the protocol set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, you first have to get a medical certificate from the local health office where you are stranded. The local government in your hometown should also provide a certification accepting your return. You will need to present both these documents to the Director of the PNP Directorate for Operations, who will issue your certification to travel, which will indicate the date of travel, point of origin and destination and name of driver and vehicles that will be used in the transport. Please note that the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID-19 Shield earlier warned the public against immediately going back to their hometowns upon shift to general community quarantine. Movement of persons in areas under GCQ is allowed as long as it is not for leisure. For more clarifications, you may contact the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield at: 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (Smart), 02 8725-3176 (landline) or email at [email protected] You may also reach the Cebu province public information office at +63 32 888 2328, 254-3454, 236-7672 (telefax) or 236-3626.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1273099/covid-19-task-force-warns-against-unnecessary-travel-if-ecq-is-lifted and  https://www.facebook.com/notes/cebu-provincial-government/emergency-contact-numbers-cebu-province/612032532171987

Question from Email: Sir/Ma’am, Can we travel from Manila (under GCQ effective June 1, 2020) to La Union (under MGCQ effective June 1, 2020) thru private car? 3 persons who are all frontliners will be travelling with IATF IDs and company IDs even without a travel pass?

Answer: (May 29, 2020)

The movement of frontline workers across areas under different forms of community quarantine is allowed under the current omnibus guidelines. You should be allowed to pass through checkpoints if you bring your IATF IDs and company ID. Please also observe social distancing during transit. According to the Department of Transportation, only one person is allowed to occupy the front passenger seat of private cars, while front-facing seats shall not exceed two passengers per row.

If you are planning to return to La Union and settle there, however, you may want to follow the protocol set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on securing a travel authority. To do this, you first have to get a medical certificate from the local health office where you currently are. The local government in your La Union should also provide a certification that they are accepting your return. You will need to present both these documents to the Director of the PNP Directorate for Operations, who will issue your certification to travel, which will include the date of travel, point of origin and destination and name of driver and vehicles that will be used in the transport. For more clarifications, you may contact the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield at: 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (Smart), 02 8725-3176 (landline) or email at [email protected] You may reach La Union provincial government at 2425550 or at their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LGUlaunion/

Sources: http://dotr.gov.ph/55-dotrnews/1317-summary-of-dotr-s-road-based-transportation-guidelines-on-areas-under-general-community-quarantine-gcq.html and
https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200522-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf (PAGE 23)

Question from Email: What if senior po ang magtatravel from Manila to Cebu and vice versa by mid June for business purposes only. Ano po ang mga requirements? Iaallow po ba syang magtravel outside Metro Manila?

Answer: (May 29, 2020)

Movement of those who are 60 years old and above is permitted if it is for work in industries allowed to operate, according to the current omnibus guidelines. Since you will travel for business purposes, you will be allowed to pass through checkpoints as long as you bring your company ID and documents to prove that you have scheduled business appointments in Cebu. The Department of Trade and Industry said in April that basic Company IDs will continue to be honored at checkpoints. For any issue encountered by authorized personnel of qualified establishments at Checkpoints, please immediately report at 09266126728 (COVID Rapid Response Team or 09560916570 (DTI Command Center).

Question from Email: am 19 years old and 2nd year college student. I am currently stuck at my friend’s house here in Caloocan City. I have been staying here since the start of quarantine. My permanent/home address is in Imus, Cavite. If Metro Manila will shift to GCQ on June 1, will I be allowed to travel and cross the border? If so, will I need any requirements besides my ID? Another concern, if Metro Manila will stay under MECQ on June 1, how do I go home?

Answer: (May 27, 2020)

You can actually have your papers processed so you can return to your hometown in Cavite. As per Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, locally stranded individuals (LSIs) like you can go to the barangay captains of the areas where they are stranded. The barangay captain will certify that you have undergone at least 14 days of quarantine before you applied for a travel authority and that you had no Covid-19 symptoms during that period. From there, the barangay captain will endorse you to the city or municipal health office for the necessary medical checkup and issuance of a medical health certificate. When you get these documents, you should turn them over to the barangay captain who will then take charge of the processing of your travel authority. This is the immediate thing you can do now. Although Eleazar has said in a statement last May 25, 2020 that help desks will be set up in all police stations nationwide to help facilitate the return of LSIs. The help desks will initiate the processing of your documents and will just email or text LSIs that their travel authority is approved and ready for pickup. If you have questions, you can check with the newly-launched Philippine National Police “helpline 1667.” 

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1103816https://www.facebook.com/462115693829692/posts/3931408266900400/?d=n

Question from Email: I need to travel from Guagua City in Pampanga to Mabalacat City (also in Pampanga) in order to get a biopsy for a possible cancerous lump on a pet. The only animal hospital / vet in the area that does that is in Mabalacat – the alternative is Manila. The vets classify suspicion of cancer as emergent on animals because there’s a very small time window in which to act. What passes do I need?

Answer: (May 27, 2020)

You will be allowed to travel from Guagua to Mabalacat if you are to avail of critical veterinary services. The Philippine Veterinary Medical Association said veterinary clinics shall be open for emergency cases so it is best to contact them and set an appointment before going. You will be allowed to pass through checkpoints as long as you bring an identification card with your address and documents as proof that your pet has a scheduled medical appointment. Please also observe social distancing during transit.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2943976965668485&id=273468822719326&__tn__=K-R 

Question from Email: I work in a hotel in Makati. I have been staying in the hotel since the lockdown began, and we are being monitored everyday for covid symptoms. I don’t have work anymore and was asked to go home. My hometown is in Quezon province What requirements would I need to pass through the border? how do i get those papers? My cousin will be the one to transport me to Quezon, but he will go back to manila upon driving me to my house. what requirements does he need?

Answer: (May 27, 2020)

Philippine National Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, that the sender and her cousin need to go to the nearest police station where they live so they could get a travel authority. They should also each get a health certificate by coordinating with their barangay which would have to vouch that they are healthy and have no Covid-19 symptoms. From there, the barangay will have to endorse them to the city office. But Banac also said that in the event that Metro Manila is placed under general community quarantine on June 1, 2020, they do not need a travel authority anymore. Based on a May 12,2020 report by the government-run Philippine News Agency, the sender and her cousin must secure a travel authority from the Director of the PNP Directorate for Operations. The travel pass will include the date of travel, point of origin and destination and name of driver and vehicles that will be used in the transport. But to be issued a travel authorization, the sender should first secure a medical clearance from the local health office in Makati and a certification from Quezon province that they are accepting your return. While applying for the authorization, you may inquire about your cousin’s travel pass for going back to Metro Manila. If you are going back to Lucena, you may need to present a travel pass and medical clearance or certificate of completion of mandatory quarantine, according to the city’s Executive Order no. 10. You may visit the Lucena Public Information Office at https://www.facebook.com/pio.lucena or contact the Quezon province PIO at 09515783399. You may also reach the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield for further assistance and clarifications at: 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (Smart), 02 8725-3176 (landline) or email at [email protected]

Sources:  https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1102543 and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1280303/stranded-people-can-ask-police-to-help-them-to-get-home/

Question from Email: There are numerous issuances on the guidelines on the prevention of the coronavirus in the workplace. What are the penalties should an employer violate the provisions of these guidelines? Assuming the employer tried its best to implement these guidelines, yet an employee still contracted the virus, will the employer be considered remiss in its responsibilities and penalized ?

Answer: (May 27, 2020)

Neither the Department of Health (DOH) memorandum order no. 2020-0220 issued last May 11, 2020 nor the Departments of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Trade and Industry Interim (DTI) Guidelines on Workplace prevention and control of Covid-19 states that employers will be penalized should employees end up getting sick with the new coronavirus upon return to the workplace. Both issuances set the guidelines for employers to adopt business community plans as well as set safety and health standards to all workers in the private sector. The issuances for instance called for employees to observe physical distancing, and for employers to ensure the workplace is disinfected and employees’ temperatures are checked daily, among others. In a May 21, 2020 press statement, Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo only reminded the need for employers to comply with the guidelines “to ensure the safety of their employees and clients.” 

Sources: https://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/health-update/dm2020-0220.pdf; https://www.dole.gov.ph/ph_assets/uploads/2020/05/DTI_and_DOLE_InterimGuidelinesonWorkplacePreventionandControlofCOVID19_3.pdf and https://www.doh.gov.ph/doh-press-release/DTI_DOLE_TESTING-NOT-REQUIRED_FOR_WORKERS_TO_RETURN_TO_WORK

Question from Email: Hi. Are we already allowed to visit our dead at the cemetery, subject to social distancing and wearing of masks? I’m from Paranaque and my relatives’ remains are in Manila Memorial Park Sucat.

Answer: (May 27, 2020)

Metro Manila is still under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 31, 2020 and this means all households should observe strict home quarantine and that “the movement of residents shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in permitted offices or establishments or such other activities..” So unfortunately, you and your family cannot go to the cemetery to visit departed loved ones for the meantime. But based on the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases last May 15, 2020, the earliest you and your family can go to the cemetery is when Metro Manila is placed under modified general community quarantine. Under MGCQ, “all persons shall now be allowed outside their residence.”

Source: https://officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200515-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-Philippines.pdf

Question from Email: My girlfriend is in Baguio but is a resident of Mandaluyong and also works in Mandaluyong. The company is non-essential but is clear to have a skeletal workforce operation and she is part of the skeletal workforce. I, on the other hand, am a resident of Quezon City and I plan to fetch her and drive her to Mandaluyong. What passes and certificates do we need so I can fetch her?

Answer: (May 27, 2020)

Traveling in areas under community quarantine is allowed for workers of permitted sectors as long as they have employment certificate, a company ID and IDs that show their place of residence, which will be presented at checkpoints. Since you are not the one who needs to travel for work, you may not be allowed to travel.

An option for your girlfriend is to follow the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to get travel authority from the Director of the PNP Directorate for Operations. This travel pass will include the date of travel, point of origin and destination and name of driver and vehicles that will be used in the transport. She will only be issued the travel authorization after securing a medical clearance from the local health office in Baguio and a certification from Mandaluyong that they are accepting her return. You may reach Mandaluyong Public Information Office (PIO) at (02) 534 1662 and Baguio PIO at (074)442-1900, GLOBE(0927)628-0798 or SMART(0999)678-4335.

You may reach the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield for further assistance and clarifications at: 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (Smart), 02 8725-3176 (landline) or email at [email protected]

Sources: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1102543 and
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1275358/ban-on-public-transport-stays-in-mecq-areas

Question from Viber: My dad who is 85 years old is scheduled to visit his eye doctor. He has almost zero vision and needs to be held all the time. We are coming from Las Pinas and the clinic (Asian Eye) is in MOA. 1. do we need to apply for a travel pass? From where? There will be three of us- me to hold my dad, dad, and my sister who is the driver. 2. as my dad needs to be held all the time, the social distancing rule will definitely not be followed. will this be ok or do we need to show any docs?

Answer: (May 26, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer that the sender, her father and sister can go to see the eye doctor. “Yes, they can go. Bring quarantine pass issued by the local government unit,” Banac said.  Previously, authorities have allowed persons to leave their residence for medical purposes during the enhanced community quarantine.

Question from Email: I just learned that a Travel Pass from DILG is needed when I travel back to Baybay City via Tacloban Airport. To get a travel pass, one needs to get a barangay clearance which requires a health certificate that requires a 14-day quarantine. In total, about 3 weeks or more will be involved. As my point of origin is Makati, I need to get the travel pass from DILG-Makati. How long is the Travel Pass issued by DILG-Makati valid? Is there a time frame that it has to be used within so many days or weeks? I tried calling DILG-Makati but could not get through.

Answer: (May 23, 2020)

According to the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for individuals who want to travel back to their hometowns, the chief of police of the city, town or province will issue a travel authority, which indicates the date of travel, point of origin and destination, and name of driver and vehicles that will be used in the transport. The date of travel indicates the validity of the travel pass. You will only be issued the travel authorization after you have secured a medical clearance from the local health office in Makati and a certification from Baybay City accepting your return. You may reach the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield for further assistance and clarifications at: 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (Smart), 02 8725-3176 (landline) or email at [email protected]

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1103641

Question from Email: 1. Where can I get a certification as proof that I underwent 14-day quarantine? What are the requirements to acquire this? 2. How much is the estimated price for COVID-19 Rapid Testing? Can asymptomatic persons take the test or is it intended for symptomatic persons only?

Answer: (May 22, 2020)

You may get the medical certificate from your local government health office. You may call them first to inquire on the requirements needed. Estimates from news reports put the price of a COVID-19 test at around P3,500 to P8,000. Philhealth covers the cost for those eligible for testing based on the Department of Health (DOH) guidelines and are tested at Research Institute for Tropical Medicine-DOH or laboratories certified by RITM-DOH. DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said on May 21 that testing remains to be targeted to those who are symptomatic

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1278485/drilon-flags-overpriced-philhealth-virus-testing; https://www.philhealth.gov.ph/circulars/2020/circ2020-0010.pdf and https://www.doh.gov.ph/doh-press-release/TESTING-NOT-REQUIRED-FOR-WORKERS-TO-RETURN-TO-WORK—DOH

Question from Email: In late March-May 15, when Metro Manila was on ECQ, DILG Secretary Ano issued a memo allowing seniors living alone to go out for essential goods and services. Once I went to S&R Membership Shopping at Circuit, Makati to buy groceries. Today, May 20, when Metro Manila is on Modified ECQ, I was prevented from entering S&R Store at Circuit Mall. The S&R guard explained that the Makati City Police ordered S&R last night not to allow senior citizens from entering the supermarket. I left without buying food as the guard was only following instructions from the police. Is there a new IATF EO or DILG memo indicating that seniors, no matter if they live alone in a condo unit, should NOT be allowed entry into supermarkets to buy food? If so, what is my recourse?

Answer: (May 22, 2020)

According to the omnibus guidelines released by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), those who are 60 years old and above shall be allowed to leave the house to buy essentials if they live alone or if they are working in industries allowed to operate. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated this in saying that senior citizens must be allowed to go out if they are the only ones who can buy their necessities. Malacañang has said at the beginning of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon that local government units must follow the guidelines set by IATF-EID. You may contact your local government to ask about their policy, citing your experience and the national government’s MECQ guidelines. (page 10)

Sources: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200515-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1274480/senior-citizens-in-workforce-living-alone-may-go-out-in-mecq-areas-palace

Question from Email: Our company is in the maintenance services industry rendering maintenance, troubleshooting and upgrading of production machines in the wire and cable industry. Our clients are Phelps Dodge, American Wire, Philflex, Columbia, AC Harris, London Industrial Products and other companies. As such, we travel from our Pasig office to the location of our clients which are in Quezon City, Paranaque City, Dasmarinas City in Cavite, Valenzuela City and Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Our problem is that some checkpoints do not honor our company IDs only and they are asking for some travel pass or permit. Can you advise us where to secure this pass?

Answer: (May 22, 2020)

A designated representative from your company can apply for a RapidPass for you and other employees who will need to service clients. Please click this link https://dict.gov.ph/rapidpass/ to download the form and read the instructions for applying. However, the Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that company IDs are enough to get you through the checkpoints. For any issues encountered by authorized personnel of qualified establishments at checkpoints, you may immediately report these to the COVID Rapid Response Team (09266126728) or the DTI Command Center (09560916570).

Question from Email: I am a Metrobank employee in EDSA SHAW branch. Effective June 1, I’ll be transferred to the bank’s branch in Nueva Vizcaya. Do I need a travel pass from PNP provided that I have IATF ID, Certificate of Employment, Company ID and a Memo from HR that I’ll be transferring branch?

Answer: (May 20, 2020)

Banks are among the businesses whose employees are allowed to cross borders, but you may have to get a travel authority from the Philippine National Police (PNP) since you will be moving into a new residence. Under the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), you must first secure a medical certificate from a local health office and then get a certification from the local government of the Nueva Vizcaya town where you will be moving to. The two documents will then be processed by concerned police commanders for the issuance of your travel authority, which indicates the date of travel, point of origin and destination, and name of driver and vehicles that will be used in the transport. Since your travel involves two regions, the certification will come from the Director of the PNP Directorate for Operations. Just be ready with your other documents, such as the IATF ID and company documents that show proof of your employment, during your travel as well. You may reach the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield for further assistance and clarifications at: 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (Smart), 02 8725-3176 (landline) or email at [email protected] https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1102543

Question from Facebook: Paano po yung pet grooming salon? Pwede na ba mag open under GCQ? 3 employees lang kami.

Answer: (May 19, 2020)

Ayon sa pinakahuling guidelines na inisyu ng Interagency Task Force, tanging pet food at pet care supplies shop at veterinary clinics ay ilan sa mga negosyong pinayagang magbukas sa ilalim ng general community quarantine. Maaring makipag-ugnayan sa Department of Trade and Industry COVID-19 Hotlines: DTI Officer of the Day COVID Rapid Response Team deployed in NDRRMC Camp Aguinaldo at 0926.612.6728 (Text/Viber) and the DTI Command Center at 0956.091.6570 (Text/Viber) or 0927.428.0475 (Text/Viber)

Sources: https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Spox-Final-Briefing-Deck_13May2020.pdf and https://www.dti.gov.ph/covid19/

Question from Facebook: Magtataas ba ang pamasahe kasi konti lang ang pwedeng sumakay sa jeep?

Answer: (May 19, 2020)

Sa isinagawang pagdinig ng Senate public services committee noong Mayo 11, sinabi ni Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra na walang pagtataas ng pasahe ang magaganap sa sandaling matapos na ang enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) sa Metro manila at iba pang lugar.

Kailangan munang makakuha ng special permit mula sa LTFRB ang mga pampublikong sasakyan bago sila payagang makapagbiyahe. Maari rin silang hindi payagan na bumalik sa regular nilang ruta, depende sa magiging desisyon ng LTFRB at local government units.

Mas bibigyang prayoridad na mabigyang ng permit ang mga sasakyan na mas malaki ang kapasidad na makapagsakay ng mga pasahero, ayon kay Delgra. Uunahin ang mga modern buses at susundan ng mga modern jeep at saka traditional na mga jeep.

Papayagan lamang silang bumiyahe base sa limitadong bilang ng mga pasahero para maipatupad ang physical distancing habang nasa loob ng sasakyan.

Naglaan na rin ang Department of Transportation (DOTr) ng financial package na maaring ibigay sa mga operators and drivers para matulungan sila sa kanilang biyahe.

Source:
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1272949/ltfrb-no-fare-increase-on-all-puvs-once-ecq-is-lifted#ixzz6Mfa2rL3B

Question from Viber: Where is the complete guideline in allowing Construction Activities to resume, particularly Food Production Projects? Not all LGUs are allowing the resumption of construction activities since they haven’t received any new memorandum or ruling regarding what Spox Harry Roque is announcing in mass media.

Answer: (May 18, 2020)

Public and private construction is also permitted but should adhere to the Department Order No. 35 of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which only allows projects such as sewerage, water service facilities, digital works, health facilities and others related to basic needs (agriculture, energy, communication, etc.) You may reach the DPWH hotline 165-02 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays for other clarifications and concerns. See the link below for a copy of the guidelines.

https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200429-Omnibus-Guidelines-on-the-Implementation-of-Community-Quarantine-in-the-Philippines.pdf

Question from Email: Is quarantine pass really needed to go to the grocery or bank if under gcq, or just an ID (e.g. postal ID)?

Answer: (May 18, 2020)

You still need to keep and bring with you your quarantine pass when going out to buy essentials. The Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said checkpoints and quarantine passes issued by local government units (LGU) will be continued even under the general community quarantine because movement under this scheme is still limited to accessing essentials and working for industries allowed to operate. Please continue to follow your LGU’s policies on quarantine passes.

Sources: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/Sa-kabila-ng-61-na-pagbaba-ng-krimen-DILG-inatasan-ang-PNP-na-manatiling-listo-sa-pagpapatupad-ng-GCQ-sa-ilang-bahagi-ng-bansa/NC-2020-1150 and https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/2020030-EO-112-RRD.pdf (Page 17, Sec 3 no. 2)

Question from Viber: Under the GCQ when parents can go back to work and they need to leave their child with child care services, will these establishments be open?

Answer: (May 15, 2020)

No, per current guidelines. In the three community quarantine setups (ECQ, GCQ and MECQ), the guidelines for strict home quarantine do not allow children below 21 years old to leave their homes. Establishments in the kids amusement industry (to include playground, rides) are likewise not allowed to open. Physical classes are also suspended in all levels except in some activities for college students as prescribed by CHED. You may want to ask if child care services can be an exception in your area from (JTF) COVID-19 Shield at 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (SMART) and (02)87253176 (Landline).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qnl9iC_jSuj63K7NjCt_9GzDV0jzV_o2/view

Question from Facebook: Ano po ang mga allowed na industries sa mecq?

Answer: (May 15, 2020)

Ang mga negosyong papayagan mag-operate sa ilalim ng modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) ay ang mga sumusunod 1) sila na maaring makapag-operate ng 100 percent na may safety protocols (gaya ng nasa agriculture, fishery, utilities, media establishments na gaya rin sa ECQ areas) o 2) yung kayang bumalik sa operasyon ng 50 percent na work from home at 50 percent sa lugar ng pinapasukan (gaya ng manufacturing ng inumin, electrical materials, computer at electrical products, public and private construction, printing, film, music and TV production, hardware, malls at piling commercial centers, restaurants na hindi tatanggap ng dine-in). Narito ang kaugnay na balita tungkol sa mga papayagang negosyo na maaring magbukas sa ilalim ng MECQ.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1274336/fwd-list-businesses-allowed-to-resume-operations-in-mecq-areas#ixzz6MOjtHlDF; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1242084/ph-quarantine-guidelines-among-the-strictest-in-asia#ixzz6IEkZKbdH and https://drive.google.com/file/d/19jqywSI10jdXi-Ey2TQ7LEatTzdFAIwY/view

Question from Email: Yung pong mga dual citizen Filipinos coming from the United States per DFA website po is required to go mandatory Home quarantine, tama po ba yun?

Answer: (May 15, 2020)

Lahat ng mga pasahero mula sa ibang bansa, Pilipino man o foreigner, ay kailangang sumailalim sa mandatory testing at facility quarantine. Pagkalapag pa lang, ang mga pasahero ay isasailalim sa orientation ng Bureau of Quarantine, para sa dokumentasyon at swabbing. Habang naghihintay ng resulta, ang mga pasahero ay ilalagay sa qurantine sa loob ng dalawa hanggang limang araw. Kung ikaw ay isang overseas Filipino worker, ang mga gastusin sa quarantine ay sasagutin ng Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. Kung ikaw naman ay magpositibo, ikaw ay dadalhin sa ospital o quarantine center na itinayo ng gobyerno. Kung hindi naman, papayagan ka nang makauwi sa iyong bahay kung saan ang transportasyon ay isasaayos ng Department of Transportation. Panoorin ang video ng anunsyo ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque tungkol sa quarantine procedures para sa mga Pinoy na galing sa ibang bansa at mga dayuhan.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/pcoogov/videos/2656333051307362/

Question from Email: Would just like to clarify with regards to the sectors allowed in modified ecq particularly Architecture and Engineering Activities:Technical Analysis and Testing. Does this include private construction engineering firms? Our projects are mainly for construction of facilities of banks (i.e bpi, bdo etc), hotels, and others that are not “essentials industries”.

Answer: (May 15, 2020)

According to the latest guidelines, architecture and engineering activities, technical testing and analysis in sectors with high employment gain, high fiscal revenue gain and low health risk are partially allowed (minimum 50 percent work from home and maximum 50 percent on-site) under the modified enhanced community quarantine and allowed with safety protocols under general community quarantine. Meanwhile, for public and private construction, work is permitted but should adhere to the Department Order No. 35 of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which only allows projects such as sewerage, water service facilities, digital works, health facilities and others related to basic needs (agriculture, energy, communication, etc.) You may reach the DPWH hotline 165-02 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays for other clarifications and concerns. Firms should only deploy 50 percent of their workforce on site and observe standard health protocols. Construction safety guidelines are found here: http://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/sites/default/files/issuances/DO_35_s2020%20updated2.pdf https://www.facebook.com/pcoogov/photos/pcb.3530077940355175/3530076960355273/?type=3&theater https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200429-Omnibus-Guidelines-on-the-Implementation-of-Community-Quarantine-in-the-Philippines.pdf

Question from Email: Under the MECQ to be implemented starting May 16 here in Metro Manila, will move-ins be allowed in condominiums? We weren’t permitted to move in during the ECQ even though our lease contract has started.

Answer: (May 15, 2020)

Rental and leasing of real estate properties will be partially allowed under the modified enhanced community quarantine so you can move in to a condominium during this period. You may contact your lessor or the condominium to confirm if you can already move in starting May 16.

Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qnl9iC_jSuj63K7NjCt_9GzDV0jzV_o2/view

Question from Email: We are a small business enterprise and we have to pick-up some of our employees who are from Cavite which is under GCQ and our office is located in Las Pinas City. Are there any requirements from the LGU that we need to secure first ? They have their company ID’s with them. We will be using a private service vehicle to pick them up and bring them back home.

Answer: (May 15, 2020)

Since electronic commerce companies are among those allowed to operate in areas under GCQ (like Cavite) and MECQ (like Las Pinas City), your workers are allowed entrance and exit in the two community quarantine areas. Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said workers in GCQ areas only need to show their company IDs or certification of employment should they need to cross to ECQ areas. Please note, however, that a private company shuttle will need special permit from LTFRB for rented shuttle (50 percent capacity). If private vehicle is to be used, there should be a maximum of two persons per row. A gentle reminder is for workers to wear masks (there are local ordinances imposing this requirement), observe social distancing (one seat apart) and other safety measures.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1267357/list-who-are-allowed-to-travel-to-and-from-gcq-and-ecq-areas#ixzz6MUttq8Fl; https://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/050520_MC2022.pdf and https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qnl9iC_jSuj63K7NjCt_9GzDV0jzV_o2/view

Question from Email: I am an American. A very agile, able bodied 71 year old male. A very capable person. I have messaged before because I was not given a pass. I was told I did not need one as I am exempt. The PROBLEM is the police and security people don’t seem to know that. I absolutely MUST be allowed to go to the bank to get money. Only I can do that !! I am married, but even she gives me trouble about it ! ( You would have to know her to understand ) I need to go to my bank and grocery shop. I need to buy medicines that my wife knows nothing about. I am also contacting the United States Embassy about this problem today. Also, I am here from Manila. Stuck in Batangas for 6 weeks now !! Need to get BACK. Now. Give me a pass or whatever so I have no further problem getting necessities !! “

Answer: (May 14, 2020)

Although effective May 16 until May 31, Batangas will no longer be under extended community quarantine (ECQ) and will instead be under general community quarantine (GCQ), seniors (persons 60 years old and above) are still not allowed to leave their homes to protect them from contracting the coronavirus. But DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said senior citizens who are still working and those living alone should also obtain their own quarantine passes to buy their basic needs. Since your bank and supermarket are just minutes away from your home, you may go to the nearest barangay to get a community pass that will allow you to leave home to get your basic needs. You just have to cite your special circumstances to get exemption (like although you have a wife, you yourself have to do the bank transactions etc). In checkpoints within the community, you just have to present the community pass and your Identification card.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1267206/iatf-says-working-seniors-allowed-to-go-out-during-gcq-lopez#ixzz6MPLlwxFj

Question from Email: I am currently staying in Mandaluyong with my fiancé. Before ECQ (13-March) our long term lease ended and we have no permanent residence since. We are paying our rent on a per day rate since 13-March. Given the modified ECQ, pwede po ba kaming magpasundo na lang sa driver galing probinsya (implementing GCQ starting 16-May) via private vehicle? What are the documents that we and the driver should secure and where can we get them?

Answer: (May 14, 2020)

According to the guidelines set by the the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, individuals who seek to go back to their hometowns should first secure from the local government health office where they are stranded a medical certificate clearing them of the coronavirus and stating that they underwent the necessary quarantine procedures. Local officials of their hometowns must also provide a certification that they are accepting the returning individuals. Both these documents are needed by the concerned police officers to issue a travel authority, which includes the date of travel, point of origin and destination, and name of driver and vehicles that will be used in the transport. According to Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, if the areas involved is within a province, the certification could be issued by the provincial commander. If the areas involve two provinces within a region, the certification could be secured from the police regional director and if the areas involve two regions, the certification will come from the Director of the PNP Directorate for Operations. For further information, you may contact the (JTF) COVID-19 Shield at 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (SMART) and (02)87253176 (Landline).

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1273099/covid-19-task-force-warns-against-unnecessary-travel-if-ecq-is-lifted and https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1102543

Question from Email: Are there any guidelines for construction workers living in Metro Manila and how we can send them to designated project sites like Bulacan and Batangas?

Answer: (May 13, 2020)

The construction sector, both public and private, is now allowed to operate but with restrictions under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Metro Manila is now under MECQ and if construction workers will be deployed to Bulacan and Batangas (which are now under general community quarantine), the latest guidelines provide some requirements. That is, they should be ferried in a private shuttle and housed in barracks for the project duration with segregated facilities. Before being deployed, only workers aged 21 to 59 years old without pre-existing health conditions are allowed to work. They will also be tested for Covid-19 before they start working.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/PresSpokespersonPH/photos/a.397841807217544/1159042097764174/?type=3

Question from Email: I’m here in Manila right now, but originally from the North. Gusto ko na po umuwi sa province namin para dun na mag-stay. Ano ang pwede kong gawin? Is it possible for me to get a travel pass to go home?

Answer: (May 13, 2020)

Based on the power point presentation made by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on May 13, 2020, there are no domestic flights as well as no inter-island travel under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Metro Manila has been placed under MECQ and therefore, you cannot leave the city to travel in the province via public transport. This is also if you plan to travel via private vehicle. Only persons/workers in permitted sectors/activities are allowed to travel via private vehicle.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/PresSpokespersonPH/videos/345954219716714/

Question from Email: Hi a friend of mine is planning to comeback to the PH soon from LAX and we saw the NAIA will be resuming international flights starting May 11. We’d like to confirm if he can already book a flight for it? Also we sa that airport transportation is allowed to take people to and from the airport, is it still the case? Lastly, he is staying in BGC, are there checkpoints from the airport to BGC? And if so, what documents does he need to get pass the checkpoints?

Answer: (May 12, 2020)

Under the rules earlier set by the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the only persons allowed to fly into the country from abroad are Filipino citizens, their immediate family members, aliens with Philippine permanent residency visas, and foreign diplomats. Unless your friend is a foreign diplomat or an immediate family member, then he can return to the country. Last May 11, 2020, the IATF also required all passengers arriving into the country to undergo testing and quarantine in approved facilities while awaiting the results of their tests.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1272480/inbound-intl-flights-at-naia-to-resume-on-monday/

Question from Email: My son, a student studying in Clark Pampanga, has been stuck there since March due to ECQ. Can he travel from Clark to our Paranaque residence using his private vehicle? Can he bring along two of his fellow classmates? Any documents he/they need to carry along?

Answer: (May 12, 2020)

Your son may reach out to the barangay or local government unit (LGU) where he is staying as they are tasked to coordinate with the other LGUs about stranded individuals who want to come home or you can coordinate with your own LGU for assistance. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.”

If traveling by private transportation, the LGUs may provide the necessary documents for them to be allowed home. However, social distancing of one seat apart should still be observed inside the vehicle.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email:I am a teacher in Xavier School San Juan. Our work from home started last May 4. So, I need to go back to Manila since we don’t have internet connection here in Olongapo. I have my employee’s ID and certificate of employment issued by our school. Also, my 11 month old baby was scheduled for check up and vaccine which is due already in Cardinal Santos where his pedia’s clinic located. Will I be allowed to go back together with my mother who will take care of my child while I’m working?

Answer: (May 12, 2020)

In response to a question on the fate of Metro Manila residents who want to return home after almost two months of being stranded in provinces, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a news briefing on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, that under the modified community quarantine, they can come back but they must secure from the local government units they are leaving and now returning to, documents allowing their travel.

Question from Email: I read your article about traveling with an infant from a place under GCQ to one under an ECQ. We tried contacting our provincial government but still we haven’t received any response. May I ask what are the requirements and steps we need to do so we can bring my son to Manila from Bicol?

Answer: (May 9, 2020)

The entry and exit of people to and from an enhanced community quarantine zone is limited to essential movements. You are only allowed to travel between zones if you belong to these categories: health workers, government officials and frontline personnel, those traveling for medical and humanitarian reasons, person transiting to the airport for travel abroad, workers in permitted establishments and persons providing essential goods and service and public utilities, essential skeleton workforce, repatriated OFWs and non-OFWs returning to their residences, and other persons transported through the efforts of the national government subject to quarantine protocols and in concurrence with the receiving local government units. Please continue to seek assistance from your local government. You may also get in touch with the Department of Interior and Local Government Emergency Operations Center through these hotlines: (02)8876-3454 local 8806/8810 or (02)8925-0343

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1267357/list-who-are-allowed-to-travel-to-and-from-gcq-and-ecq-areas

Question from Email: Is the one-person-per-household rule for going out to buy groceries still in effect under GCQ? Can more people from the same household be allowed to step out and do errands under GCQ?

Answer: (May 9, 2020)

Yes, more than one person from the same household is allowed to buy basic necessities under the general community quarantine as all nonworkers are allowed to avail of goods and services except those pertaining to leisure activities, and provided that minimum public health standards must be observed at all times. However, nonworkers who are below 21 years old and aged 60 years and above may not enter malls and shopping centers except when indispensable under circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services.

Source:  https://lga.gov.ph/article/national-task-force-updates-local-chief-executives-on-the-strategies-to-fight-covid-19

Question from Facebook: Paano ang mga sasakyan na mag-eexpire ngayong May? May extension ba at pwede ba magamit in case of emergency?

Answer: (May 9, 2020)

The validity of driver’s licenses, permits and registrations of motor vehicles due to expire during the period of the community quarantine shall remain valid, according to the Land Transportation Office. It has also given a two-month grace period to owners of vehicles with expired registration documents, without any penalty and has extended by two months the validity of driver’s licenses that expired during the lockdown.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1271669/lto-drivers-have-2-months-to-renew-expired-licenses and https://www.facebook.com/lto.cdmpao/photos/a.1587938837890618/4098891803461963/?type=3&theater

Question from Email: We are a small manufacturing company in Brgy. Vasra, Quezon City that makes clothes and we have 12 employees. We have been closed since the ECQ, ould it be possible to get a permit to operate and make and sell face masks and PPEs so they can somehow earn and provide for their families? Our shop is big enough for proper physical distancing.

Answer: (May 8, 2020)

Yes, you may manufacture PPE as long as you follow the guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration. Based on the guidelines, all establishments that intend to manufacture personal protective equipment must secure a License to Operate (LTO) as medical device manufacturer. You may find the requirements for application of LTO listed in Annex A of this document: https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/attachments/article/303720/Administrative%20Order%20No.%202016-0003.pdf

Manufacturers that intend to continue producing PPE for commercial use shall apply for product notification or registration based on AO No. 2018-0002. They must apply within three months after the State of Public Health Emergency has been lifted in the country. This will no longer be required, however, for those who plan to manufacture only within the period of public health emergency.

The manufacturing will be guided by the Philippine National Standard or other applicable internationals standards (ISO or IEC) and the technical requirements for the registration of these medical devices as stated in Administrative Order No. 2018-0002. The finished product shall be tested by the appropriate accredited laboratory by the Philippine Accreditation Bureau to ensure its quality and safety.

Source: https://www.fda.gov.ph/fda-circular-no-2020-014-interim-guidelines-on-the-manufacture-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-ventilators-and-respirators-in-light-of-covid-19-situation/

Question from Email: I am from Marikina. I have already booked a flight several months ago bound to Cagayan de Oro and I don’t know if I can board my flight. Will I be allowed to pass through checkpoints? My flight is on May 16 at 3:25 pm.

Answer: (May 8, 2020)

It has not been determined whether or not the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila will remain or will be modified after May 15. Please keep posted for updates. However, under the Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines, the non-essential entry and exit of people to and from an enhanced community quarantine zone is prohibited except for health workers, government officials and frontline personnel, those traveling for medical and humanitarian reason, persons transiting to the airport for travel abroad, workers in permitted establishments and persons providing essential goods and service and public utilities, essential skeleton workforce, repatriated OFWs and non-OFWs returning to their residences and other persons transported through the efforts of the national government subject to quarantine protocols and in concurrence with the receiving local government units. Please get in touch with your airlines for further information on your flight and requirements and your local government unit for assistance.

Source: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/2020030-EO-112-RRD.pdf 

Question from Email: Hi! I am working as a medical representative in a pharmaceutical company. Our main job function is to promote our products to doctors in hospitals, clinics etc so that they will prescribe our products. Can we operate fully in GCQ?

Answer: (May 7, 2020)

Hospitals and clinics are among the establishments allowed to operate during both the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the general community quarantine (GCQ) albeit with some restrictions in movements to comply with health standards amid the coronavirus pandemic. It is best to confirm with the health facilities you visit about their implementation of the GCQ and whether or not you are allowed to resume your activities within the hospital, given that your job involves interacting with several people including doctors who may have been in an environment where coronavirus is present.

Source: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/2020030-EO-112-RRD.pdf

Question from Email: I am a senior citizen and a resident of Antipolo City. I work as agricultural consultant and own and manage a fruit orchard. I had been stranded in Davao City since March 22, 2020. I am trying to take a sweeper flight to Manila on May 9 (organised by the US Embassy and PAL but allows stranded Filipinos for a fee). In case I arrive in NAIA on May 9, what is required so that Antipolo City, Rizal province will allow me entry, and for the other checkpoints along the way to allow me to pass? The DILG circular stipulates that the LGU of Davao is responsible in negotiating permits to the LGU of destination. I hope this is correct.

Answer: (May 7, 2020)

The Department of Tourism-National Capital Region (DOT-NCR) recently provided at least seven buses to transport local tourists who flew back to Manila from the different provinces where they were stranded through the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) funded sweeper flights. Complementing the chartered buses were three vehicles from the Philippine Coast Guard and five e-jeepneys from the DOT. Non-residents of Metro Manila were to be transported by their respective local government units (LGUs). You may reach out to the LGU in your area because LGUs are tasked to provide transportation for those who want to leave the city where they got stranded. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.” Private vehicles are also allowed to transport and fetch passengers from the airport provided that there is proof of the passenger’s flight itinerary and that only one person is allowed to pick up the passenger to observe proper social/physical distancing, according to the Department of Transportation. In addition to proof of travel, have your identification cards with addresses ready.

Sources: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1101685; https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243868/dotr-on-private-vehicles-in-airports#ixzz6I8pn9SK7

Question from Email: Are there DOLE/DOH procedures on contact tracing at an office setting? Example: if an employee went to work and later showed COVID symptoms

Answer: (May 6, 2020)

As of three weeks ago, the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has designated the Department of Interior and Local Government as the lead agency in the government’s contact tracing effort to contain Covid-19. The DILG will do the contact tracing of Covid-19 cases with the help of local government units. The DILG has ordered LGUs to increase their trained contact tracing teams which will be led by chiefs of police and city or municipal health workers. In workplaces, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on May 1, 2020 mentioned the issuance of interim guidelines on prevention and control of Covid-19 in the workplace. But it was not stated in the guidelines how contract tracing will be done in the workplace. It only mandated companies to put up a Covid-19 hotline and call center for employees to report if they are symptomatic. The employer must provide the Department of Labor and Employment through the regional office, copy furnished the Department of Health, the monthly reporting of illnesses, diseases and injuries under the guidelines. So it’s more of reporting the health of their employees than doing actual contact tracing of employees who turn out positive for Covid-19.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1260720/dilg-to-take-lead-in-contact-tracing-effort-vs-covid-19 and https://www.dole.gov.ph/news/workplace-rules-set-to-cut-spread-of-covid-19/

Question from Email: I own a water refilling station. 1) Is it possible for me to go out of my city to cater to a delivery request? 2) Is it possible to hire someone to work in our business from another city and pick them up?

Answer: (May 6, 2020)

Yes on both questions. Under the enhanced community quarantine which has been extended twice and ends on May 15, “private establishments and employees involved in the provision of essential goods and services..” such as “water refilling stations” are among those “allowed to work or operate with a skeleton workforce unless a different operational capacity is provided,” according to Executive Order no. 112 issued by President Duterte last April 30, 2020 as guidelines to the second extension of the ECQ in Luzon.

Source: https://www.officialgazatte.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/202000030-EO-112-RRD.pdf

Question from Email: Nakatira ako dito sa Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati, ang aking official na residence. May farm ako sa Nueva Ecija at kasalukuyang may mga mga tanim ng gulay. As a retiree, (senior na ako, 61 year old at walang health issues) ito ang source ko ng income. During this ECQ, may binilinan lang akong tao para tignan ang pagpitas at pagbenta sa vegetable trader. Ano ang mga requirements na kailangan para makakuha ng travel pass from Makati/ Nueva Ecija/ Makati para asikasuhin ng personal ang aking farm?

Answer: (May 6, 2020)

Sa kasamaang palad po, ang Metro Manila ay mananatili sa ilalim ng enhanced community quarantine hanggang May 15, 2020. Dahil dito, hindi po kayo maaaring bumiyahe mula Makati City hanggang sa inyong farm sa Nueva Ecija, Ayon po kasi sa guidelines sa ilalim ng ECQ kailangan ang istriktong home quarantine sa lahat ng miyembro ng pamilya,at nililimitahan ang pagkilos ng mga residente sa pagbili lamang ng mga essential na pangangailangan at serbisyo gaya ng pagkain at gamot.

Source: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/202000030-EO-112-RRD.pdf

Question from Email: 1) Is it confirmed that Metro Manila will be on GCQ starting May 16? 2) Under GCQ, will all government offices be open already, i.e. business and building permits applications, payment of real estate taxes, transfer taxes, etc.? 3) If Calabarzon comes under GCQ and NCR is still under ECQ, can we traverse Metro Manila (from Laguna to Antipolo, for example)?

Answer: (May 6, 2020)

So far, President Duterte has not yet announced if he will place Metro Manila under a general community quarantine (ECQ) since it is together with the entire Luzon to be under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Under GCQ, work in government “may be at full operational capacity, or under such alternative work arrangements as agencies may deem proper in accordance to issuances by the Civil Service Commission.” So yes government offices will be open for services. As to whether you can cross Laguna from Antipolo in case the National Capital Region is still under ECQ and Calabarzon shifts to GCQ, the latest guidelines provide for “interzonal movement” where people can move from an ECQ area to that of a GCQ or vice versa. But this movement will be only for certain people such as health workers, government officials or frontline personnel, traveling for medical and humanitarian reasons, transiting to the airport for travel abroad and workers in permitted establishments, among others. Unless you fall under this category, “non-essential entry and exit of people to and from the ECQ zone shall be prohibited.” https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/2020030-EO-112-RRD.pdfA: (May 6, 411PM) So far, President Duterte has not yet announced if he will place Metro Manila under a general community quarantine (GCQ since it is under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) together with the rest of the main island of Luzon. Under the GCQ, work in government “may be at full operational capacity, or under such alternative work arrangements as agencies may deem proper in accordance to issuances by the Civil Service Commission.” So yes, government offices will be open. As to whether you can cross Laguna from Antipolo in case the National Capital Region is still under ECQ and Calabarzon shifts to GCQ, the latest guidelines provide for “interzonal movement” where people can move from an ECQ area to that of a GCQ or vice versa. But this movement will be only for certain people such as health workers, government officials or frontline personnel, traveling for medical and humanitarian reasons, transiting to the airport for travel abroad and workers in permitted establishments, among others. Unless you fall under this category, “non-essential entry and exit of people to and from the ECQ zone shall be prohibited.”

Source: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/2020030-EO-112-RRD.pdf

Question from Email: My kids are stranded in Ilocos Sur, a GCQ area. I am a Manila resident. Assuming NCR becomes a GCQ area, Is it possible for me to avail of a travel pass and bring them home here. Can this fall under humanitarian exemptions? Alternatively, can I go there and join them?

Answer: (May 6, 2020)

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told the Inquirer on Wednesday (May 5, 2020) that traveling from a general community quarantine area (GCQ) to another will not require a travel pass. So if and when Metro Manila is placed under GCQ after May 15, then you can go to Ilocos Sur to fetch your children.

Source: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/2020030-EO-112-RRD.pdf

Question from Facebook: I am working as a BPO representative(Call Center) in taguig. During quarantine, our operations are still on going. Our company provided us hotel accomodation for almost a month, and then last april 12 we started our WFH scheme. Our onsite doctor advised that we only need to do self monitoring, so I was in home quarantine until last monday (April 27) when I went home to BATANGAS. is it necessary for me to do the 14 days quarantine again?

Answer: (May 6, 2020)

There is no need for you to do another 14-day home quarantine because you already did so when you were in quarantine from April 12 to April 27, when you worked from home and the period of which is way beyond 14 days. As early as Feb. 2020, the Department of Health had reminded the need for self quarantine or isolation for14 days for those who enter the country from countries with Covid-19 based on the World Health Organization’s recommendation. But self isolation is only required if you have mild symptoms such as cough, mild fever and headache. So since you have completed the 14-day quarantine and you do not even have symptoms, you no longer have to undergo the same thing anymore. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-publicA:May 6, 2020 There is no need for you to do another 14-day home quarantine because you already did so when you were in quarantine from April 12 to April 27, when you worked from home and the period of which is way beyond 14 days. As early as Feb. 2020, the Department of Health had reminded of the need for self-quarantine or isolation for 14 days for those who enter the country from other countries with Covid-19 based on the World Health Organization’s recommendation. But self-isolation is only required if you have mild symptoms such as cough, mild fever and headache. Since you have completed the 14-day quarantine and you do not even have symptoms, you no longer have to undergo additional quarantine anymore.

Source: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Question from Email: I would like to ask if it is possible to travel together with my 1 year old son from naga camsur to quezon city. My wife and I cannot leave our son here in naga because no one will look after him. What should we do?

Answer: (May 6, 2020)

While the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has rejected Naga City’s bid to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), thus making it a general community quarantine (GCQ) area, “non-essential entry and exit of people to and from the ECQ zone shall be prohibited unless both of you are health workers, government officials and personnel, traveling for medical and humanitarian reasons, transiting to the airport for travel abroad and workers in permitted establishments, among others. So you can cross from Naga city to Metro Manila with your son. 

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1269527/iatf-rejects-naga-city’s-request-for-ecq-extension and https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020-00030-EO-112-RRD.pdf

Question from Email: We reside in Quezon City and want to come home to Quezon Province. However, our town mayor requires us to have a medical check up here in Manila and should be issued a corresponding medical certificate from a medical doctor. We also have to undergo a 14-day quarantine in the town’s quarantine facility even if we’re asymptomatic. He’s also asking for an unemployment certificate from our employers. For OFWs, they also have to undergo a 14-day home quarantine even if they have completed the 14-day quarantine upon arrival as required by their agencies. No transportation will be given to stranded people who would want to come home from Manila. Are these executive orders legal? From what I know all these deviate from the IATF guidelines. If these are not legal, where can we file a complaint?

Answer: (May 5, 2020)

Metro Manila and Luzon for that matter are still under enhanced community quarantine. And as such, you still cannot move to your residence in Quezon province until May 15, the end of the twice extended ECQ. As to your town mayor’s requirements for returning to the province whether an overseas Filipino worker or not, these are quite excessive. Just last Monday night, President Duterte warned local government units that they will face sanctions if they will reject the entry of OFWs cleared of Covid-19. You can send your complaint to the Covid hotlines 1555 and 02894-Covid (26843)

Sources: https://www.covid19.gov.ph/ecq-gcq-guidelines/ and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1269590/duterte-tells-lgus-accept-entry-of-ofws-cleared-of-coronavirus-or-face-problems

Question from Email: With the announcement of the omnibus guidelines for ECQ/GCQ area last April 30 that sectors under “Power, energy, water, IT and waste disposal services and PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AND BUILDING UTILITIES SERVICES” sectors are now permitted under the ECQ/GCQ, will this allow tenants like me to move-in in the condominium units that I have leased? I have a contract in a Makati condominium but I was not allowed to move-in during the ECQ last March and am now staying in an Airbnb unit.

Answer: (May 5, 2020)

Metro Manila and Luzon for that matter are still under enhanced community quarantine. And as such, you still cannot move in to your Makati condominium until May 15, the end of the twice extended ECQ. But please wait for the new guidelines if ever there will be a shift to GCQ after May 15.

Source: https://www.covid19.gov.ph/ecq-gcq-guidelines/

Question from Email: I would like to ask the quarantine procedures for returning OFW with their children. Are they going to be separated or are they going to be in the same room?

Answer: (May 5, 2020)

The Department of Health has previously said that a person under quarantine should be isolated from others and quarantine facilities in the country require a person undergoing quarantine to have his or her own room as well as a separate restroom. But health undersecretary Dr. Rosette Vergeire said that for wards being used for quarantine, beds should have a distance of at least one and a half meters. So you and your children will have to be separated during quarantine to ensure your safety.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1250147/doh-issues-protocols-for-quarantine-facilities-with-puis

Question from Email: We were supposed to leave our condominium here in Manila last April 7 because it was when our 1-year lease contract expired and we didn’t have any intention of renewing. On that same day, we were scheduled to transfer to a new apartment in QC which was already paid for with 12 PDCs, 1st week of March. Unfortunately, the ECQ was implemented and we weren’t able to relocate (gov’t enforced travel restrictions). After May 15, assuming Metro Manila transitions from ECQ to GCQ, are we then allowed to transfer to our new apartment (lipat bahay)? Also, can our current condo charge us for our stay from April 8 to May 15 even though, as mentioned earlier, our contract expired last April 7?

Answer: (May 4, 2020)

1) You may be allowed to transfer to your new apartment after the Department of Trade and Industry recommended the reopening of certain industries and services during enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine, which includes rental and leasing activities. Real estate activities (except buying and selling) are also among the services allowed under GCQ. But strict physical distancing and sanitary measures should still be observed at all times during GCQ. Please keep posted for updates and the corresponding guidelines. 2) Since you have remained in possession of the premises and have stayed in the condominium with your lessor’s knowledge, there is an implied lease and your lessor may charge you as a weekly or monthly tenant. Article 1670 of the Revised Civil Code of the Philippines states that “If at the end of the contract the lessee should continue enjoying the thing leased for fifteen days with the acquiescence of the lessor, and unless a notice to the contrary by either party has previously been given, it is understood that there is an implied new lease, not for the period of the original contract, but for the time established in Articles 1682 and 1687. The other terms of the original contract shall be revived. (1566a).” In view of this, it is best to agree on terms with your lessor, specially in case of another extension of the ECQ in Metro Manila or just in Makati City or Quezon City.

Sources: https://www.chanrobles.com/civilcodeofthephilippinesbook4.htm; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1266066/list-businesses-allowed-to-operate-in-areas-under-ecq-and-gcq and https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/2020030-EO-112-RRD.pdf

Question from Email: When NCR finally shifts to GCQ, are establishments like National bookstore, Ink-all-you-can and the computer stores in Gilmore part of the business categories allowed in a GCQ environment?

Answer: (May 4, 2020)

As of the latest guidelines, book stores, computer stores and ink stores are not explicitly listed as among the establishments allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), through the recommendation of the Department of Trade and Industry, to restart operations when Metro Manila shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ). However, delivery of office supplies is allowed during enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and GCQ, whether through e-commerce platforms, in-house or outsourced. Power, energy, water, IT and telecommunications supplies and facilities are also allowed to be operational during ECQ and GCQ. Malls and commercial centers (including hardware stores, clothing, and accessories and non-leisure stores) will be operational again in limited capacity during GCQ.

Sources: OPS Press Briefing, April 28, 2020
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1266066/list-businesses-allowed-to-operate-in-areas-under-ecq-and-gcq#ixzz6LR5GQfnj

Question from Email: 1. Yung pinsan ko po nilalagnat nang mga 1 month na. Nagpunta na kami sa Makati med and her lab test results showed negative. She’s just staying alone sa may Pasay City and her family is in Marikina City. Nakikiusap po siya na ihatid ko na siya sa family niya at doon na magkonsulta sa Marikina Valley. Pwede ko ba siya ihatid sa Marikina border at sunduin na lang siya doon? 2. I work in the BPO industry. Can I go to our office to pick up a PC monitor?

Answer: (May 2, 2020)

1. You will be allowed to bring your cousin to Marikina as individuals seeking medical care are permitted to travel during the enhanced community quarantine. Be ready with your ID cards and other documents (medical certificate or prescription from previous check ups) to prove that your travel is for a medical reason.

2. It is possible to go to your office using the shuttle service provided by your company if available. According to the enhanced community quarantine guidelines, companies in the BPO industry are allowed to continue workplace operations and employees are permitted mobility to and from their place of work within areas affected by the quarantine, provided that appropriate temporary accommodation and/or shuttle service arrangements are provided within the immediate vicinity of the workplace.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243036/luzon-island-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine-palace and https://dict.gov.ph/dict-provides-operational-guidelines-to-ict-bpo-sector-during-enhanced-community-quarantine/

Question from Email: Under THE GCQ, are the ferry boats allowed to go back to normal operation? Are they allowed to take on passengers or is it only goods?

Answer: (May 2, 2020)

The passenger services of ferry boats are still suspended under the general community quarantine (GCQ). Seaports are allowed to open both under GCQ and the enhanced community quarantine but only to ensure the unhampered movement of goods.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1264455/ecq-extended-till-may-15-in-metro-other-high-risk-areas and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1264466/still-no-public-transport-in-areas-under-prolonged-quarantine

Question from Email: As I understood under the new guidelines, Real Estate Activities are open under GCQ except selling and buying real properties. I have a House and Lot for sale since even before we had the pandemic at a province now under GCQ. Under the said new guideline, would it mean that I cannot continue selling my property and close the deal unless GCQ is lifted? I am selling my property through direct buying or an agent scheme.

Answer: (May 2, 2020)

Yes, you may have to wait for the lifting of the general community quarantine (GCQ). Real estate is among those industries allowed to operate during GCQ, as outlined by the Malacañang. But it prohibits buying and selling.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1266066/list-businesses-allowed-to-operate-in-areas-under-ecq-and-gcq

Question from Email: I’m from Southern Leyte. Papayagan na bang magbiyahe ang mga passenger from one GCQ province to another na na-stranded sa mga seaports like Surigao to Southern Leyte province on May 1?

Answer: (May 2, 2020)

Makipag-ugnayan po kayo sa inyong lokal na pamahalaan para linawin ang mga panuntunan sa ilalim ng general community quarantine (GCQ). Inilabas na ang guidelines on general community quarantine areas nitong Abril 30 ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, at sinasabi rito na lilimitahan ang paggalaw ng mga tao sa GCQ areas sa pagkuha ng mga pangunahing pangangailangan at serbisyo, at maging ang sa trabaho na pinayagang mag-operate. Ang tanging tinutukoy lamang na hindi dapat maantala ay ang pagbiyahe patungong airport at seaport ng mga overseas Filipino workers, permanent residents ng ibang bansa at mga na-stranded na foreign nationals.

Question from Email: March 19 noong dumating ako sa Pilipinas galing Sydney, Australia. Ginawa ko na po ang 14 days na advised na home quarantine sa Pulilan, Bulacan. Gusto ko nang umuwi sa Ilocos Norte kung nasaan ang family ko. Nakakuha po ako ng travel pass at quarantine certificate, ngunit pagdating ko sa Ilocos Norte ay hinarang ako sa boundary at sinabing kailangan ko daw ulit mag undergo ng 14 days quarantine bago ako makauwi sa Laog dahil yun daw po ang protocol para sa mga returning resident or OFW dito sa Ilocos region? Totoo po ba na dapat umulit ng pag-quarantine?

Answer: (May 2, 2020)

Base sa Resolutions 18 and 22 ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), inaatasan nito ang local government units na hindi dapat maantala ang pagdadala sa mga overseas Filipino workers na binigyang ng sertipiskasyo ng DOH at LGU na sumailalim sa 14-day quarantine, sa lugar na kanilang pupuntahan. Makailang beses din itong binigyan diin ni Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles na hindi dapat maantala ang pagdadala sa mga OFWs sa kanilang pupuntahan. Mariin ding kinokondena ng IATF-EID ang anumang uri ng diskriminasyon sa mga OFWs. Maari kayong tumawag sa OWWA sa hotline nitong 1348.

Sources: https://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/IATF-Reso-No-18.pdf  and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1254540/iatf-on-ofws

Question from Facebook: Yung mga vegetable dealers ba ay exempted sa curfew hours ng ECQ? Minsan po kasi may mga lumalabas para maglako ng mga gulay nila nang madaling araw dito sa amin, at ang rason nila ay sinabi ng pangulo na wag idelay ang food and good deliveries. Please enlighten me about this para maexplain din namin sa kanila ng mabuti.

Answer: (May 2, 2020)

Hindi dapat pagbawalan ang mga vegetable dealer sa kanilang pagdedeliver ng kanilang mga produkto sa mga pamilihan. Ayon sa Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases hindi dapat maantala ang pagdedeliber ng mga pagkain at gamot at iba pang mga pangunahing pangangailang upang hindi magkaroon ng kakulangan sa suplay ng mga nasabing produkto na siyang magiging dahilan ng pagtaas ng presyo ng mga ito. Kabilang sa mga pinapayagang lumabas ng bahay ay silang magdedeliver ng cargo at mga empleyado ng nasa food industry at silang nagtatrabaho sa mga pamilihan.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1249185/ano-threatens-action-vs-lgus-blocking-goods and
https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248318/pnp-to-lgus-dont-block-delivery-of-basic-goods-at-checkpoints

Question from Email: I know there is no penalty for late vehicle registration during quarantine, but: 1) Can you still drive your unregistered vehicle to the nearby palengke, supermarket, and/or drugstore? 2) What are the repercussions if you get into an accident and your TPL and/or compare insurance are expired?

Answer: (May 2, 2020)

The Land Transportation Office on March 26 issued a memorandum to all its regional directors and officers and authorized district and extension offices advising them on the non-collection of penalties and the extension of driver’s licenses, registration and other permits and clearances, which are to expire during the enhanced community quarantine. While government frontline offices are allowed to operate with a skeleton workforce under ECQ, all government offices are allowed to operate under the general community quarantine (GCQ). If your area is under GCQ, you may need to get in touch with the nearest LTO office. The DOTr-LTO emergency contact numbers are Law Enforcement Service (+632) 8927-1851 and Operations Center (+632) 8927-1420.

Regarding lapsed insurance, the Insurance Commission said in an Inquirer report that you may request for a renewal of your expired motor car insurance through your agent. If you wish to procure a motor insurance from a different provider, there are a lot of companies which allow you to buy and pay for insurance online.

Sources: https://www.lto.gov.ph/latest-issuance.html; OPS Press Briefing, April 28, 2020 and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1266066/list-businesses-allowed-to-operate-in-areas-under-ecq-and-gcq

Question from Email: Just want to inquire about this new resolution particularly on the service side: Repair and Installation of Machinery and Equipment Repair of Computers and Personal Household Goods Does this mean that we can already deploy our service technician to service defective kitchen appliances within Metro Manila? We have been getting service requests but we can’t help the client due to the ECQ. Can our technicians travel by motorcycle to the client’s house and conduct repair (with proper PPEs)? They have company IDs and Certificates of Employment stating their designation as service technicians. Will this be honored at check points?

Answer: (April 30, 2020)

Repair services are among the new addition to the list of businesses allowed to operate in areas under the enhanced community quarantine and the general community quarantine. You may still clarify the rules with your local government to verify if you can deploy technicians to houses. If allowed, your technicians may bring identification cards and proof of employment to be presented at checkpoints or authorities. Make sure to observe proper hygiene and social distancing once your services resume.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1266066/list-businesses-allowed-to-operate-in-areas-under-ecq-and-gcq and
https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1040370

from Email: As I understood under the new guidelines, Real Estate Activities are open under GCQ except selling and buying real properties. I have a House and Lot for sale since even before we had the pandemic at a province now under GCQ. Under the said new guideline, would it mean that I cannot continue selling my property and close the deal unless GCQ is lifted? I am selling my property through direct buying or an agent scheme.

Answer: (April 30, 2020)

Yes, you may have to wait for the lifting of the general community quarantine (GCQ). Real estate is among those industries allowed to operate during GCQ, as outlined by the Malacañang. But it prohibits buying and selling.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1266066/list-businesses-allowed-to-operate-in-areas-under-ecq-and-gcq

Question from Email: I have a question regarding a post from a broadcast media organization about APOR. I saw that during ecq and gcq, dental clinics will be allowed to operate.When is the effectivity?

Answer: (April 30, 2020)

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), through the recommendation of the Department of Trade and Industry, has listed dental clinics as among the establishments that will be allowed to operate in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECG) and general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1 provided they follow strict health standards.

Source: https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1040370

Question from Email: 1. In the event that Metro Manila transitions to a General Community Quarantine, so far I have read that there may be a 30% restoration of public transportation. Are there details as to what it means by that restoration (i.e. classes of public transportation available, hours of availability, etc)? 2. In the event that Metro Manila transitions to a GCQ, would it be legal for a jeepney or UV Express not operating under reduced public transportation to serve as a private shuttle for a healthcare company (provided it follows social distancing rules)?

Answer: (April 30, 2020)

According to government officials, resumption of public transport operations in a general community quarantine (GCQ) would be “at a reduced capacity.” No other details have been given since the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has yet to finalize the guidelines on GCQ to be implemented in low-risk areas from May 1 to 15, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing on April 27. Since national guidelines on public transport have not been detailed yet, you may want to raise your proposal to ferry healthcare workers to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) at 7980-2387, 7980-2390, 0917876-8573 or 0917802-2224. The DOTr has partnered with public transport and automotive companies to implement “Free Ride for Health Workers Program” during the enhanced community quarantine.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1265352/guidelines-of-general-community-quarantine-or-new-normal-being-finalized-palace; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1264143/covid-19-gcq-malls-guidelines-for-partial-mall-ops-in-areas-under-gcq; https://pnp.gov.ph/index.php/news-and-information/3700-differences-between-enhanced-community-quarantine-and-general-community-quarantine and http://www.dotr.gov.ph/55-dotrnews/1299-tingnan-nagpapatuloy-ang-ating-mga-frontliners-na-nagmamando-ng-emergency-operations-center-ng-department-of-transportation-dotr-sa-paghatid-ng-serbisyo-publiko-sa-ating-mga-kababayan.html

Question from Email: What is the current update for the distribution of ECQ passes? In our place, Bulan Sorsogon, people were provided 1 pass per house. Some were given 1 pass per 2-3 houses if household size is small. Here in our compound, our brgy only gave 1 pass for every 3 households. My niece was brought to the ER, accompanied by her mother, and her mother brought the pass with her, leaving no pass for the other 2 households. We need to buy food and supplies also but the brgy refused to give us another pass. Can the mother just be exempted from having a pass, citing humanitarian reason for being outside, so we can use the pass for ourselves?

Answer: (April 30, 2020)

Sorsogon has been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) where some quarantine restrictions will be relaxed and more people will be allowed to go out and work. It has been mentioned, however, that children and young people under 20, senior citizens, those with “high health risks” or existing illnesses are required to stay home and are still not allowed to resume work or go out of the house except when availing services permitted during GCQ. But this age restrictions and whether community quarantine passes will still be issued may be among the guidelines still being finalized by the IATF and Malacanang or your local government. Please keep updated.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1264455/ecq-extended-till-may-15-in-metro-other-high-risk-areas; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1265352/guidelines-of-general-community-quarantine-or-new-normal-being-finalized-palace  and http://philippinedailyinquirerplus.pressreader.com/@DOLCE_ABUAN/csb_7br_M5okrq2X8vUDrimXW-PMFuhDOe27N1Y2sCdneqkIxUW6–Mckp3R5tyb-YzzcLko9-mk7n6O5VeOHw3M6g

Question from Email: I’m a member of the IATF. I work in Iloilo City. I rendered duty from March 30 to April 3 then I went home to Duenas, Iloilo. 1. Are we, IATF members, exempted from the quarantine protocol like being listed as PUM, provided that we do not show signs of the disease? 2. A Barangay Health Worker told me that I should go to the health center at the town to be checked. Should I go there, or should the health officials be the one to visit and check my health status?

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

The new guidelines issued by the government last April 15, 2020 following the Department of Health’s new classification of Covid-19 cases did not mention members of the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infection Diseases as exempted from quarantine protocols. But if you are a person under monitoring (PUM) which the Department of Health has now dropped in its new classification of Covid cases, joint administrative order no. 2020-0001 now refers to PUMs as  “contacts” that can be subjected to quarantine protocols this time either in home quarantine or Ligtas covid-19 centers to be put up by LGUs. But this new guidelines only cover contacts “with mild symptoms and who are not vulnerable persons in households and communities.” So if you are asymptomatic, then you do not have to undergo quarantine.

Source: https://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/health-update/jao2020-0001_0.pdf

Question from Email: Pwede po ba na maglipat kami ng bahay mula Paranaque patungong San Pedro Laguna sa aking mga magulang, sa ikalawang linggo ng Mayo? Ito po ang aming mga rason:

1. Lack of finances to pay rent for June onwards.

2. My parents can help take care of my children as I work to teach online during the daytime.

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

You will not be allowed to move from Paranaque City to San Pedro, Laguna before May 15 as both areas are still under ECQ. Under ECQ’s strict home quarantine, everyone except those considered persons authorized outside of residence (Apor) is enjoined to stay home and only one member of the household is allowed to go out to buy food, medicine and other essential goods. Your reason is likewise not among the exemptions from the travel ban which are for medical purposes and humanitarian purposes. Please keep posted, however, as the community quarantine status of the two areas may or may not change by May 15. Many areas are now under general community quarantine (GCQ) after being under ECQ.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1242084/ph-quarantine-guidelines-among-the-strictest-in-asia#ixzz6IEkZKbdH; https://drive.google.com/file/d/19jqywSI10jdXi-Ey2TQ7LEatTzdFAIwY/view and http://philippinedailyinquirerplus.pressreader.com/@DOLCE_ABUAN/csb_7br_M5okrq2X8vUDrimXW-PMFuhDOe27N1Y2sCdneqkIxUW6–Mckp3R5tyb-YzzcLko9-mk7n6O5VeOHw3M6g

Question from Email: Would just like to ask if there is specific guideline for the age range of employees who will be allowed to resume in GCQ areas. Your Q&A page states that only those aged 21 to 59 years old will be allowed to enter establishments during GCQ. What about employees younger than 20 and older than 60?

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

As of April 27, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus is still finalizing the guidelines under the general community quarantine (GCQ). Please keep posted for the detailed guidelines on authorised work operations under GCQ. The previously mentioned recommended age restriction—children and young people under 20, senior citizens, those with “high health risks” or existing illnesses who required to stay home—applies to the general population who are still not allowed to resume work or go out of the house except when availing services permitted during GCQ. While nonleisure shops in malls, including supermarkets, drugstores, banks, laundry shops, hardware stores and restaurants will reopen partially, only those age 21 to 59 years old, with ID cards and “not looking sickly” will be allowed inside these shops. Health protocols will also have to be followed.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1264455/ecq-extended-till-may-15-in-metro-other-high-risk-areas and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1265352/guidelines-of-general-community-quarantine-or-new-normal-being-finalized-palace

Question from Facebook: Hello, I am a Filipino on a tourist visa in Spain. I have a ticket to go home via Qatar airways and arrive in Manila on May 2, 2020. What’s the procedure when arriving in Naia? Where do people go for quarantine? I’m from Bacolod, but as I understand, I have to stay for a two week quarantine in Manila before I can go home (and I cannot go home anyways since domestic flights are cancelled).

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

he Department of Tourism has a 24/7 Help Desk stationed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to assist travelers. The enhanced community quarantine is still in effect in Metro Manila during your arrival thus you are required to undergo a quarantine. Based on latest guidelines, all returning overseas Filipinos from countries with coronavirus community transmission are mandated to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a facility. You may be given a rapid antibody test before entering a facility and after the quarantine, with appropriate action taken before you are discharged depending on the outcome of the tests. The quarantine facilities and program will be determined and facilitated by the Department of Health and Bureau of Quarantine. Upon the completion of the quarantine procedures, you will be given certificate of clearance that you can show to authorities when travelling to your final destination.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1262088/all-filipinos-returning-to-ph-to-undergo-rapid-testing-for-coronavirus and
http://www.tourism.gov.ph/news_features/dotncrassist24000intransitnationalamidecqinluzon.aspx

Question from Email: My husband together with his 8 electricians were in Negros Oriental when the Metro manila lockdown was announced. When can they come back to Paranaque and what requirements do they need if and when they are allowed to travel already? They were already quarantined for 14 days in Bayawan, Negros Oriental.

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

They may have to wait until the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila is lifted since mass transportation and domestic flights are limited to only sweeper flights, or special flights for repatriated overseas Filipino workers and stranded tourists. The three top local airline companies Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia have suspended all other commercial flights until May 15. But according to the IATF Resolution No. 29 issued on April 28, the Department of Tourism is authorized to undertake measures to charter and fund sweeper flights for tourists stranded in other regions to Metro Manila. The DOT has launched its hotline for this program and your husband and his electricians may try to reach the Region 7 hotline at 09173042613 and ask if they are eligible for this service.

Sources: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1101324 and https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/OPS-Presentation-April-28-AITF-Reso-29.pdf

Question from Email: Currently nakikitira po ako sa Parañaque and cannot go home to Cavite. I work in the food industry in BGC and they already applied for rapid pass for employees through bulk registration including the vehicle that we are going to use. Am I allowed to use it back and forth to Cavite and go to work even if Cavite will implement a total lockdown starting May 1 2020?

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

Yes, you may travel to and from Cavite if you have the RapidPass. Under the national policy, employees working for the food industry are among the authorized persons to go out. The “calibrated” quarantine to be imposed in Cavite starting May 1 exempts those who work in the food industry from the 24-hour curfew. You may go to https://www.facebook.com/JonvicRemullaJr/posts/2716470315129937 for the guidelines on the Cavite “calibrated” quarantine.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2020/04/A-2-scaled.jpg; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1266264/hard-lockdown-imposed-on-select-calabarzon-areas and https://www.facebook.com/JonvicRemullaJr/posts/2716470315129937

Question from Email: Do I still need to get a certification rfrom LGU that I already completed 14 day quarantine after DOH’s new classification about PUMs?

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

Yes you still have to get the certification. Under joint administrative order no. 2020-0001 issued last April 15, 2020, while persons under monitoring has been dropped by the Department of Health in its new classification of Covid cases, PUMs are still defined here as “contact” who together with suspect and probable cases as well as confirmed cases are to be housed in a Ligtas covid 19 center. That is if all three cases are asymptomatic, they can also undergo home quarantine. Based on the discharge protocol, patients in the Ligtas covid-19 center may be discharged and persons under home quarantine once they are asymptomatic fot the number of days prescribed. The local health officer or his/her doctor shall issue a certificate of completion of quarantine or isolation to those discharged or ending home quarantine.

Source: https://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/health-update/jao2020-0001_0.pdf

Question from Email: Wala po bang extension ang SPA sa Landbank para sa AFP pension ng mother ko na nasa Veterans hospital?

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

Sa panayam ng Inquirer sa Landbank, sinabi nito na nabanggit na nila ang inyong problema sa AFP. Maaari raw po kayong makipag-usap kay Major Jason Pangandoyon, na siyang in charge sa AFP Pension and Gratuity Management Center, para kayo ay matulungan. Tumawag sa 0915-6527146 or email [email protected]

Question from Email: Is it possible for me to travel from Laguna to Nueva Ecija to deliver some breastmilk for my 5-month old baby? I got stuck in Laguna because of the lockdown and my family is in Nueva Ecija. My wife has insufficient breastmilk for our baby and we cannot give him the formula milk because of his health issue in his brain. What documents do I need to process and in what agency?

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

You can travel from Laguna to Nueva Ecija to deliver breastmilk for your five-month old baby citing humanitarian reasons which are among the exemptions from the community quarantine when it was imposed in the entire Luzon on March 16. Please note strict border controls may still be in place in the two provinces as they are still under ECQ until May 15. It would be best to get in touch with the Department of Health and/or Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTCV Shield). According to the IATF Joint Resolutions Nos. 11 and 12, the DOH is “authorized to grant exemptions based on humanitarian considerations in favor of outbound travelers traveling to jurisdictions when travel restrictions are in place.” You may contact DOH at (02) 894-COVID (02-894-26843) or 1555 / 86517800 local 1149/1150. On the other hand, ) the JTCV Shield is the enforcement unit of Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). With the PNP Highway Patrol , it is in charge of checkpoints specially along national and provincial roads. Its hotline numbers are 0917-538-2495 (Globe), 0998-849-0013 (Smart), (02)87253176 (landline), [email protected] (email) and 0926-225-5474 (HPG).

Related stories: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243036/luzon-island-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine-palace#ixzz6HVFFr4Rl; https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/03mar/20200313-MEMO-RRD.pdf and https://pcoo.gov.ph/press-briefing/inter-agency-task-force-virtual-presser-with-cabinet-secretary-karlo-nograles-8/

Question from Email: Sinasabi ng mga eksperto sa kalusugan na ang mga taong naninigarilyo at humihithit ng vape o e-cigarette ay at-risk sa pagkakaroon ng CoViD-19. Mayroon bang ipinapatupad na cigarette ban at vape ban habang umiiral ang community quarantine?

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

Hindi naman ipinagbabawal ang sigarilyo gayunman ang mga manufacturers ng mga ganitong produkto ay pansamantalang hindi pinahihintulutan na maglabas o mag-distribute dahil ang produktong ito ay di kabilang sa mga tinutukoy ng IATF na pangungahing pangangailangan. Ang pagmamanufacture ng sigarilyo ay pinapayagan lamang para sa pag-e-export. Mahigpit na ipinatutupad ng Department of Finance ang desisyon nito na ipagbawal ang distribusyon ng sigarilyo, matapos itong makipagpulong sa Department of Health, na nagpayo na ang paninigarilyo ay maaaring makapagpalala sa kondisyon ng taong may problema sa respiratory gaya ng COVID-19. May ibang lokal na pamahalaan ang nag-isyu ng sarili nilang ban sa paninigarilyo gaya sa bayan ng General Luna sa Quezon, na ipinagbawal ang pagbebenta at pagbili ng sigarilyo habang ipinatutupad and Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. Tungkol naman sa e-cigarettes at vape, nauna nang ipinagbawal ni Pangulong Duterte ang pag-manufacture, distribution, marketing at pagbebenta ng mga hindi rehistradong e-cigarette products sa pamamagitan ng Executive Order No. 106 noong Peb. 26, o ilang buwan nang sabihin niya na ipagbabawal niya ang paggamit sa publiko at importasyon ng e-cigarettes. Ibinabawal din ang vaping sa mga saradong pampublikong lugar.

Sources: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1101167; https://business.inquirer.net/295869/dominguez-liquor-cigarette-restrictions-to-stay-as-health-top-priority-amid-covid-19-pandemic#ixzz6Kt2mBlnb; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1234520/duterte-eo-bans-manufacture-sale-of-unregistered-e-cigarettes-prohibits-vaping-in-public#ixzz6Kt3nqWYO and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1250558/quezon-town-temporarily-bans-cigarettes-amid-covid-19-threat#ixzz6Kt3MUbPd

Question from Email: May package po akong need makuha. Nakatira po ako sa Marikina Heights kaso po naharang yung delivery guy sa checkpoint. Possible po ba imeet-up yung delivery guy dun sa checkpoint kung saan siya naharang? Kailangan ko po ung package for work from home arrangment. IT po ang company ko.

Answer: (April 29, 2020)

Tanging ang mga empleyado ng mga delivery service na nagdedeliver lang ng pagkain, tubig, gamot, at iba pang mga pangunahing pangangailangan ang exempted sa enhanced community quarantine, ayon sa Resolution No.14 ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease. At dahil ikaw ay empleyado ng Information Technology company, kasama kayo sa exempted sa quarantine guidelines. Maaari ninyong kitain ang inyong delivery guy sa checkpoint, basta ihanda lamang ang inyong company I.D. at quarantine pass. Gayuman, hindi kayo maaaring dumaan sa border checkpoint dahil ang mga IT employees ay hindi kasama sa mga Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR).

Sources:  https://ptvnews.ph/salient-points-of-iatf-resolution-no-14-as-delivered-by-cabinet-secretary-karlo-nograles and https://twitter.com/pnppio/status/1252828754717466628

Question from Viber: This is with regards to the extended ECQ in Central Luzon. Do we have a guideline that we can follow on reopening outpatient clinics? If we resume our clinics before the possible lifting of the ECQ on May 15, are we violating any law?

Answer: (April 28, 2020)

Yes, you may open the outpatient clinic because hospitals and clinics are among the establishments allowed to operate amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). You may open even before the lifting of the ECQ.

Source: https://ptvnews.ph/salient-points-of-iatf-resolution-no-14-as-delivered-by-cabinet-secretary-karlo-nograles/

Question from Email: I am an American citizen living in the Philippines with my Filipina wife. My SSS benefits are sent to BDO by direct deposit from New York. How can I withdraw it now for my basic necessities if I am not allowed to leave my home being a senior citizen? Authorizing someone to withdraw in BDO is not allowed by the bank. I am 67 and my wife is 50, who has the quarantine pass but can’t drive. Can I rent a car and then go to BDO and withdraw my money with my wife to assist me since it is hard for me to see due to my eye problem?

Answer: (April 28, 2020)

You may try to ask your local government or barangay to allow you to leave the house to go to the bank, citing your condition. Senior citizens may be allowed to leave their house if they have to buy their basic needs and no one else can do it but them. Interior Secretary Eduardo Año appealed to local government units on March 26 to give quarantine passes to senior citizens who live alone. While you do not live alone, you may still try to appeal to your local government as you need to withdraw money to be able to buy your medicine and basic needs.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248697/senior-citizens-living-alone-should-also-get-quarantine-pass-says-ano

Question from Email: I work in the power industry and was issued an IATF ID. I would like to apply for Rapid Pass for myself and the vehicle I will be using since I don’t know how to drive, will it be possible to apply a rapid pass for my husband who will drive me to and from the office?

Answer: (April 28, 2020)

No, only frontliners or authorized person outside of residence (Apor) can request for a RapidPass code. The authorized drivers for energy companies released by the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTCV Shield), the implementing arm of the IATF, are delivery drivers and petroleum tank drivers. Personal drivers are not included. The Department of Science and Technology, however, has also posted an advisory at the website RapidPass.ph that it will no longer accept individual applications for a RapidPass code to streamline the approval process. Applications now shall be directly filed to the approving agencies. With this, you may appeal for an exemption citing your personal circumstances to your agency or the one who issued you an IATF pass.

Sources: https://dict.gov.ph/rapidpass/ and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1253306/govt-launches-rapid-pass-system-to-speed-up-inspection-at-checkpoints#ixzz6Kt8EpPXs

Question from Email: I’m a tourist stranded in Manila. How do I obtain a quarantine pass so that I can buy food and water from the grocery store as this is outside of my allowed access.

Answer: (April 28, 2020)

Quarantine passes are issued by local government units and barangays, so rules on the quarantine pass may vary depending on the local government. You may contact the barangay or city government where you are staying now and seek assistance stating your situation. Local government units are mandated to assist stranded people in their jurisdiction. If possible, you may also try to purchase essential good online and have them delivered to your place.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email: Tapos na po kami mag 14-day mandatory quarantine dito sa Nueva Vizcaya. Nakagawa na po ng certificate at naka-sign na po ang barangay captain, pero ayaw mag-sign ng doctor para sa aming clearance. Ano po ang pwede gawin dito?

Answer: (April 28, 2020)

Kailangan po ninyong hintayin ang gagawing medical examination na isasagawa ng Department of Health o ng inyong municipal health office bago kayo tuluyang mabigyang sertipikasyon na kayo ay nasa maayos na kalusugan, ayon kay Dr. Leticia Cabrera, acting director ng DOH Cagayan Valley regional office.

Question from Email: I am a Seafarer that arrived last April 06 2020. That time we where told to just do a Home quarantine. In the airport no one told us to report first to the barangay that we were on home quarantine. I rented a condo but were only allowed to stay for 11 days. I continued my days on quarantine in my house. Now the president of the home owners is harassing my family and wants us out of the house. Can you give me advise on what legal steps I should do?

Answer: (April 27, 2020)

Several local government units came up with ordinances to protect frontliners, COVID-19 patients, and Persons Under Investigation (PUI) or Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) for COVID-19, against discriminatory acts. One good example is Ordinance No. 8624 or the “Anti-COVID-19 Discrimination Ordinance of 2020” of the City of Manila which prohibits any person from committing any act which cause or tend to cause stigma, disgrace, shame, humiliation, harassment or otherwise discriminate against a person infected, under investigation or monitoring due to COVID-19. This ordinance has teeth as it comes with penal provisions such as the payment of fine or imprisonment, or both.

If the local government unit (LGU) of the city or municipality in which the seafarer resides enacted or adopted a similar anti-discriminatory ordinance, the president of the homeowners association (HOA) who committed acts of harassment and discrimination, may be charged thereof before the Prosecutors Office of the LGU.

Furthermore, depending on the act/s of harassment committed by the president of the HOA, such act/s may also fall under other light threats, grave coercions -if there is violence or intimidation, or unjust vexation- if there is no violence or intimidation, which are punishable under the Articles 285, 286 and 287 of the Revised Penal Code, respectively.

There may also be a claim for moral damages if the seafarer suffered physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury due to the harassment committed by the president of the HOA against him.

Last but not the least, the seafarer, as a homeowner, may examine the Articles of Incorporation or by-laws of the HOA to determine if the act/s committed by the president of the HOA is/are violative of any provision/s thereof. The conflict or disagreement between the homeowner-seafarer and the president of the HOA may be brought before the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission.

(Thank you to M & Associates Attorneys At Law, BGC, Taguig for this answer. This answer is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for specific advice.)

Question from Email: am an OFW from Saudi and is tentatively scheduled to go home to the Philippines 1st week of May. My province is Negros Occidental. I understand that all OFWs are now required to undergo rapid antibody testing and 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Now, the following are my questions;

1. If the Bureau of Quarantine Staff decides that I will do the quarantine in one of the facilities in Manila, who will shoulder the expenses for the facility and food?

2. Before the quarantine is finished, what shall I do or who should I contact in order for me to go home to Negros Occidental?

Answer: (April 27, 2020)

The costs of food and accommodation in a quarantine facility for OFWs may be shouldered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), other national government agencies, the OFWs’ recruiting agencies, or the OFWs themselves, as may be applicable. In view of this, you may want to get in touch with OWWA to learn about the OWWA- free quarantine facilities for OFWS. The OWWA has also facilitated the return of OFWs by sea or through mercy flights to Visayas and Mindanao and you may also need to coordinate with them just in case there will be no change in the ECQ status of NCR and Luzon by the time you would have been done with your mandatory quarantine. The OWWA hotline said to be available 24/7 is 1348, The hotline is also available for callers outside Metro Manila and outside the country through (02) 1348 and 0632-1348 , respectively. While preparing for your trip back to Manila, you may also want to get in touch with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh. It is mandated to also provide OWWA services. Its hotline is +9660502850944, Email: [email protected] and Web: https://www.poloriyadh.com.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1102231/owwa-launches-hotline-1348#ixzz6KnirHaVN and https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1099192

Question from Email: I asked my son to buy food for me since I’m already 50years old and sickly. An HPG officer issued him a ticket for “unauthorized person’. Did my son violate the ECQ? He just traveled within Quezon City. Also, there is no amount stated in the ticket issued to him.

Answer: (April 27, 2020)

Barangays in Quezon City have issued a quarantine pass to the representative of the household or family who is allowed to leave his or her home to buy food, medicine and basic goods. Without this pass, he or she is not among the Authorized Person Outside of Residence (Apor) and is said to be violating the rules of ECQ. If found to be violating the ECQ, drivers would be issued a traffic violation ticket from the MMDA or the Land Transportation Office. They would be fined and their licenses confiscated.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1259403/pnp-to-go-after-private-motorists-violating-ecq#ixzz6KnRQvMJ5

Question from Email: Pwede po bang bumisita sa kulungan ngayong lockdown? Galing QC papuntang Antipolo. Nakulong po kasi gf ko. Pinasara daw ang company nila tapos hinuli at kinulong silang lahat na empleyado

Answer: (April 27, 2020)

Sa kasamaang palad, hindi po kayo maaaring bumisita ngayon sa kulungan. Ito ay matapos suspindihin ng Bureau of Jail Management and Penology ang pagtanggap sa mga bisita sa mga kulungan upang makaiwas sa pagkalat ng coronavirus. Bukod dito, ang rason na inyong ibinigay ay hindi pasok sa mga pinapayagan ng pamahalaan.

Question from Viber: Are LGUs mandated to disclose to a community/to neighbors if someone tested positive in their area/compound/building? If yes, what should we do if it’s not being disclosed to us?

Answer: (April 27, 2020)

According to the Department of Interior and Local Government, all LGUs are required to submit a status report to the city or municipal COVID-19 Task Force (TF) which will send a regular action report to the Provincial and Regional TFs at 2:00 p.m. covering the time from noon on the previous day to noon on the same day.

The report should include the number of confirmed cases, how many trained staff for contact tracing, how many contact tracing was conducted, number of suspected or probable cases identified, isolated, and tested, how many Ligtas COVID-19 Center were established either by the LGUs or the national government, number of available PPEs, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging and Infectious Disease earlier announced the mandatory disclosure of personal information relating to COVID-19 patients but according to the Department of Health, personal information that will be disclosed by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients will not be made public. The information would only be used to ramp up contact tracing efforts.

The DOH would only get information such as the places the patient has gone to, people he or she has gotten in contact with. The information will only be for the perusal of the health department, the local government unit, the Philippine National Police, and agencies involved in contact tracing.

For any complaints against local officials on the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine against COVID, you may report to the Department of Interior and Local Government Emergency Operations Center hotlines: 02-8876-3454 local 8806/8810 or 02-8925-0343.

Sources: https://dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-to-LGUs-PNP-Organize-Contact-Tracing-Team-in-every-LGU/NC-2020-1096 and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1258608/doh-will-not-make-public-covid-19-patients-info#ixzz6Ki86uE4F

Question from Viber: I’m a dentist for a private dental clinic in Manila. We’re asked by our clinic which of us can go to work to man the clinic during this period. Do I have to apply for an IATF ID or can I just show my CoE/Company ID then PRC ID? I don’t currently have any passes.

Answer: (April 25, 2020)

You may present your identification card and other documents as proof at checkpoints if you do not have the ID issued by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or RapidPass. Apart from the IATF ID, the new RapidPass system was launched to speed up vehicle inspections and limit contact between quarantine exempted individuals and personnel manning checkpoints. For more information on RapidPass, you may visit https://dict.gov.ph/rapidpass/.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1253306/govt-launches-rapid-pass-system-to-speed-up-inspection-at-checkpoints

Question from Email: Can a pregnant mother travel via private vehicle to another place (Manila to Laguna) prior to giving birth during ECQ? My sister-in-law is supposed to give birth in Bicol but is stuck in Manila due to ECQ. Can we pick her up so she can stay with us here Laguna?

Answer: (April 25, 2020)

Your sister-in-law may travel to where she will give birth because medical reasons are among the exemptions from the travel ban during the enhanced community quarantine. She may also reach out to the local government unit in her area because LGUs are tasked to provide transportation for those who want to leave the city where they got stranded. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.”

Sources: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1244515/list-persons-authorized-to-go-out-during-luzon-lockdown

Question from Email: Upon the announcement po for extended lockdown on selected areas, paano po iyong mga taga-province na stranded sa Manila na gusto nang umuwi? Kanino po kami lalapit?

Answer: (April 25, 2020)

You may reach out to the local government unit (LGU) in your area because LGUs are tasked to provide transportation for those who want to leave the city where they got stranded. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email: Hello, me and my family have been stranded in Batangas since the ECQ started and would like to go home to QC. Both my parents have appointments in a hospital near our home in QC (The Medical City). Is it possible to travel with just prescription and our personal IDs to make it to their appointment? We have rescheduled twice already due to extensions but we are now concerned this may go on indefinitely.

Answer: (April 25, 2020)

Yes, you will be allowed to travel to Quezon City for a medical appointment because this is among the exemptions from the travel ban during the enhanced community quarantine. Please bring your identification cards and proof of medical appointment to be presented at checkpoints. You also have to observe social distancing inside the vehicle while traveling. Another option is to ask the local government unit (LGU) in your area because LGUs are tasked to provide transportation for those who want to leave the city where they got stranded. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.”

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Facebook: Who are considered to be workers included in Category I, II and III in the GCQ?

Answer: (April 25, 2020)

In areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), nonleisure shops in malls will be allowed to reopen partially. These include supermarkets, drugstores, banks, laundry shops, hardware stores and restaurants, but only for takeout and delivery services. Health protocols will have to be followed. Only those age 21 to 59 years old, with ID cards and “not looking sickly” will be allowed inside.

Children and young people under 20, senior citizens, those with “high health risks” or existing illnesses will be required to stay home.

Priority and essential construction projects will also resume in GCQ areas, subject to minimum health standards, physical distancing and accommodation for workers.

In GCQ areas with a low to moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission, resumption of work in agriculture, fishery, forestry, food manufacturing, supply chain, packaging, raw materials production, logistics, water, energy, internet, telecom and media will be allowed. Also allowed is the “50 to 100 percent” reopening of manufacturing for electronics and exports, e-commerce and delivery of essential and nonessential goods, and maintenance services, housing and office services.

There will be 50-percent on-site work, 50-percent work-from-home arrangement for financial services, business process outsourcing, other nonleisure wholesale and retail trade,as well as other nonleisure services in GCQ areas.

The following, however, will remain shuttered in GCQ areas: leisure, amusement, gaming and fitness, kid industry, tourism, and all mass gatherings including religious activities and other conferences. Schools in GCQ areas would not be allowed to reopen. Colleges and universities will be allowed to finish the academic year and give credentials to students.

Airports and seaports will be allowed to open in both ECQ and GCQ areas only to ensure the unhampered movement of goods.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1264455/ecq-extended-till-may-15-in-metro-other-high-risk-areas

Question from Email: A company is closing its branch due to NO business because of covid19 disruptions, and with its closing, the company is pre terminating its rent contract with notice of one month to the lessor. The lessor told the company to abide with terms of the contract which ask for 3 months notice and forfeiture of 3 months deposit. Meaning the lessor is asking for the payment of 3 months and not refunding the 3 months deposit. What are the remedies of the company when the company closed its branch operation and no business anymore.

Answer: (April 24, 2020)

As a general rule, a party to a contract, such as a tenant in a Contract of Lease of an office or commercial space, may be cleared of liability for its failure to pay the rent under the contract of lease or its inability to continue the lease altogether, if such failure to pay the rent or inability to continue the lease is due to force majeure – referring to an event that is unforeseen, or though foreseen, was inevitable.

But if the contract of lease has a stipulation to the contrary, the tenant may be held liable for its failure to pay its rent, or to continue with the lease, despite the existence of force majeure pursuant to Article 1174 of the Civil Code. Thus, the company may only ask the pre-termination of the contract, or be excused from its failure to pay its rent, as a matter of right, if its contract with its landlord has NO specific provision stating that force majeure is not a ground for pre-termination or an excuse to pay the rent.

If there is such a provision, then the company may only demand a minimum thirty (30) day grace period for the payment of the rents falling due within the Enhanced Community Quarantine (“ECQ”) pursuant to RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and Memorandum Circular No. 20-12.

(Thank you to M & Associates Attorneys At Law, BGC, Taguig for this answer. This answer is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for specific advice.)

Question from Email: Kapag nasa loob ka ba ng inyong mismong bahay, bakuran, o isang compound, pwede ka ba arrestuhin ng isang Police Officer? Maari niyo po bang ipaliwanag kung ano ibig sabhihin ng “stay at home”? Ibig sabihin po ba nito ay mismong sa loob ka lang ng pamamahay mo mag-sastay? Paano kung nasa loob ka ng bakuran mo or loob ng compound?

Hinuli po kasi yung pamangkin ko mismo sa loob ng compound namin. Pumasok at binuksan po ng isang Police Officer ang gate ng Compound namin at dinampot ang pamangkin ko, asking for Quarantine Pass. Nasa loob po siya ng compound namin yet hinuli pa rin. Is this valid na hulihin ang isang indibidwal?

Answer: (April 23, 2020)

Hindi maaaring basta-basta na lamang pumasok ang mga pulis sa isang pribadong lugar kung walang court order. Ito ay reaksyon ni presidential spokesperson Harry Roque nitong Abril 20, 2020 hinggil sa napaulat na may mga pulis ang pumasok sa isang condominium sa Taguig City at pinaalis ang mga residente rito na nasa pool side area. GInagarantiya ng 1987 Constitution, ayon kay Roque, ang karapatan ng mga indibidwal na makapamuhay sa isang ligtas ng tahanan. “Hindi maaaring basta na lamang pumasok sa isang private property ang mga pulis kung wala silang batayan na meron krimen na naganap o nagaganap dito, o wala silang dalang search warrant,” ani Roque. Dahil sa pahayag ni Roque, pinagpapalagay na nalabag ang karapatan ng inyong pamangkin.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1261662/govt-probing-alleged-trespassing-of-cops-in-taguig-condo-while-enforcing-lockdown-rules#xzz6KKHoWKJM

Question from Email: After the antibody test upon arrival, will the quarantine officer decide whether the passenger (NOT OFW) should undergo facility-based quarantine or home quarantine or are all arriving passengers mandated for facility quarantine? Passenger is coming from the U.S.

Answer: (April 23, 2020)

All returning overseas Filipinos from countries with coronavirus community transmission are mandated to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a facility. You may be given a rapid antibody test before entering a facility and after the quarantine, with appropriate action taken before you are discharged depending on the outcome of the tests. As your flight is scheduled in May, please keep posted for updates on whether the enhanced community quarantine is going to be extended or lifted. It is, however, important to note that the virus incubation period can last up to 14 days. So, whether or not the lockdown period ends by April 30, it is advisable that individuals from abroad undergo a self-quarantine as symptoms of the virus can appear later.

Sources: https://www.facebook.com/notes/karlo-nograles/returning-ofws-required-to-undergo-mandatory-14-day-quarantineiatf/3268367066530170/?fbclid=IwAR0GJOBqM9Vr29JHmJ1y_vPTrfuocuh_72FEHr7Uow1YzSNC0llRW2-A5T8 and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1262088/all-filipinos-returning-to-ph-to-undergo-rapid-testing-for-coronavirus

Question from Email: We operate a Health and Wellness store that sells organic/herbal products. Are we permitted to open for business just like the drugstores during this quarantine period?

Answer: (April 23, 2020)

Establishments selling daily essentials are among those allowed to open amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). If your products are daily essentials, then yes, you are permitted to open. You may also contact your local government unit (LGU) to be sure because LGUs, together with the Philippine National Police, are tasked by the Department of the Interior and Local Government to strictly enforce the closure of non-essential business establishments during the ECQ.

Sources:  https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1244515/list-persons-authorized-to-go-out-during-luzon-lockdown and https://dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-to-LGUs-PNP-Close-non-essential-business-operations/NC-2020-1095

Question from Email: I am a seafarer on home quarantine. Is it against the if one my family members will go out of the house to buy food or groceries? Is there any law prohibits family members of the one on quarantine to go out?

Answer: (April 22, 2020)

Only the persons under home quarantine cannot leave the house. Since you are isolated from your family members, they should be allowed to leave the house to buy essentials. If you are undergoing a mandatory home quarantine, you should be isolated from your other family members. Besides staying in a different room, utensils and other items that you use should also be separated from what your family uses, according to the home quarantine guidelines initially released by the Department of Health.

Source: http://quarantine.doh.gov.ph/public-advisory-no-12-interim-guidelines-on-the-management-of-persons-under-monitoring-pums-suspected-with-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-191-for-home-quarantin/

Question from Email: I am an OFW here in Dubai and I’m flying back to Philippines on April 24. I am currently 5 months pregnant and I am worried about my condition in case I will be required to go to the same facility where all of returning OFWs are handled. What would be the protocol for pregnant women? Would I be allowed to undergo home quarantine instead of the facility quarantine? My province is in Zambales. Would there be any means of transportation going to the province in case no one will pick me up?

Answer: (April 21, 2020)

All returning OFWs are now required to undergo rapid antibody testing for COVID-19 and are mandated to do a 14-day facility-based quarantine. You may raise your condition and may be given special assistance since you are pregnant. However, pregnant women who show symptoms shall be admitted for isolation, according to a DOH circular issued on March 26. The DOH assured that the pending COVID-19 test results should not hinder the admission and management of the patient’s pregnancy. The free transport service which ferries OFWs to different cities and towns in Luzon has been momentarily suspended since March 30. You may inquire if the transport service has been revived on your arrival on April 24.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1262088/all-filipinos-returning-to-ph-to-undergo-rapid-testing-for-coronavirus; https://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/health-update/dc2020-0159.pdf and https://owwa.gov.ph/index.php/news/central/95-owwa-reports-assistance-to-ofws-affected-by-covid-19-halts-hatid-sundo-service-beginning-march-30

Question from Email: Today April 20, 2020, I went to a supermarket here in Guadalupe, and I was not allowed to enter the supermarket because they said Sr. Citizens are prohibited to enter the grocery store. There was a memo from the barangay captain to not allow Sr. Citizens from buying their groceries. But I heard that there was an instruction from national government to allow Sr. Citizen in grocery store. 1. Is there a new instruction from the national government to prohibit Sr. Citizen from buying there groceries? 2. Does the local government from barangay level have the power to violate the instruction of the national government?

Answer: (April 21, 2020)

On March 28, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 20-09 entitled, Pagpapahalaga sa mga Senior Citizens, which heeds the call of the elderly to be given priority when purchasing basic necessities and other essentials in retail stores and other similar establishments. The DTI acknowledges that there are senior citizens who live alone and have no choice but to secure personal provisions such as food, medicines, and other basic necessities and essential items for themselves. Through this policy issuance, the DTI required business establishments to provide assistance and give due preference to senior citizens to ensure that they secure their needs quickly thus making their stay outside their homes kept at the absolute minimum. Senior citizens are among those who are highly vulnerable to contract the COVID-19—the reason why the government strongly encourages senior citizens to stay home. However, the issuance of ordinances and quarantine passes is a prerogative of local government units so rules covering its distribution such as the number of passes given to a household may vary from place to place. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned that local officials abusing their powers in the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be held liable for their actions. The public should call the DILG Emergency Operations Center hotlines 02-8876-3454 local 8806/8810 or 02-8925-0343 for complaints against local officials in the implementation of ECQ.

Sources: https://www.dti.gov.ph/press-statements/#MC2009; https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-to-go-after-local-execs-barangay-officials-charging-fees-for-passes-food-stubs-during-enhanced-community-quarantine/NC-2020-1066

Question from Email: A family member will be returning to the PH from Canada and will home quarantine herself in the house of my parents. My parents are senior citizens living in Makati. Will my parents be allowed to move to my home in Quezon City to avoid possible contamination?

Answer: (April 21, 2020)

Your family member arriving from Canada may have to undergo a facility-based quarantine. All returning overseas Filipinos are now mandated to undergo rapid antibody testing for COVID-19 and undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine upon their arrival. The quarantine facilities and program will be determined and facilitated by the Department of Health and Bureau of Quarantine. If your parents have to move to Quezon City, you may try to reach out to the barangay or local government where they are staying as they are tasked to provide transportation for those who want to leave the city where they got stranded. The DILG memorandum circular No. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año stated that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.”

Sources: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1262088/all-filipinos-returning-to-ph-to-undergo-rapid-testing-for-coronavirus

Question from Email: I am a bank officer and part of the skeletal workforce during this ECQ period. I was issued with the IATF ID, COE, and other necessary documents. However, I was not able to get a Home Quarantine Pass because of my work and I am living alone. Will the IATF ID and documents be sufficient to avoid arrest if I go to supermarkets?

Answer: (April 21, 2020)

Your IATF ID indicates that you are an authorized person outside of residence (APOR). You can use it to pass border checkpoints, go to work and go to the supermarkets. On the other hand, the community quarantine pass is issued by the barangay to a representative member of the household under strict quarantine. It allows the holder to go out and buy essential items for the family. It is to be used exclusively within the barangay. Unlike the IATF pass, it cannot be used to pass border checkpoints.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1249392/ncrpo-barangay-quarantine-pass-not-a-national-policy-not-honored-at-checkpoints

Question from Email: We are only allowed one quarantine pass per household. If I go to the market with my driver, who does not have a quarantine pass, will he still be required to have one even if he will not be leaving the car?

Answer: (April 21, 2020)

Your driver cannot go with you. Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer that under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, “both driver and passenger must belong to Authorized Persons Outside Residence.” “Otherwise, car will not be allowed to pass through quarantine control points. The driver will be issued with a citation ticket and the vehicle will be turned back,” Banac said.

Question from Email: I am a bank officer and part of the skeletal workforce during this ECQ period. I was issued with the IATF ID, COE, and other necessary documents. However, I was not able to get a Home Quarantine Pass because of my work and I am living alone. Will the IATF ID and documents be sufficient to avoid arrest if I go to supermarkets?

Answer: (April 21, 2020)

No, she cannot bring her son along when she goes out to buy food, according to Philippine National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac. “Children must be protected at home. Maybe a neighbor or relative can look after the child while the mother is buying groceries,” Banac told the Inquirer. 

Question from Email: I just want to ask the new quarantine procedures for a former balikbayan now holding a foreign passport. Will they be allowed mandatory home quarantine or be placed in a facility? My spouse is currently holding a foreign passport as his Philippine passport has expired but I am a Filipino citizen currently residing here in the Philippines. He will be travelling alone. Will he be allowed entry?

Answer: (April 21, 2020)

All returning overseas Filipinos are now mandated to undergo rapid antibody testing for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said on April 21. Aside from the mandatory testing, arriving Filipinos are also mandated to undergo a 14-day facility-based quarantine upon their arrival. The quarantine facilities and program will be determined and facilitated by the Department of Health and Bureau of Quarantine.

Based on the advisory of the Bureau of Immigration, your husband will be allowed entry. The BI said that effective March 22, the following will be allowed entry: Filipinos, their foreign spouses and children (with documentary proof), accredited foreign government and international organizations officials and foreign airline crew members. You may wish to get in touch with the BI for the documents needed. You can send a private message on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/immigration.helpline.ph/ or send an email at immigration.helpl[email protected] Indicate your complete name, date of birth, and contact details, and your concern. For urgent queries or concerns after office hours, weekends and non-working days, you may call the Bureau of Immigration National Operations Center (BINOC) hotline numbers (632) 8465-2400 or (632) 8524-3769.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1262088/all-filipinos-returning-to-ph-to-undergo-rapid-testing-for-coronavirus and https://www.dfa.gov.ph/dfa-news/statements-and-advisoriesupdate/26673-public-advisory-on-returning-ofws-and-filipino-crew-from-foreign-cruise-ships

Question from Email: Hello! I am a business owner running a grocery store in Quezon City. Our barangay captain has recently ordered all establishments in our area to cease operation for an indefinite amount of time. Based from government announcements, my business is considered as part of the essential services. I would like to know where I can request for a special permit to operate. Thank you!

Answer: (April 20, 2020)

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease Resolution (IATF-MEID), retail establishments such as groceries, supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores, public markets, pharmacies, and drug stores are among the businesses that are allowed to continue their operation during the quarantine period. The Department of Trade and Industry processes application of official identification cards approved by IATF for enterprises allowed to operate during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. They may help you for the special permit you need to continue operation. For retailers, applications shall be sent to [email protected] addressed to DTI Consumer Protection Group Angeli Ann Solis and Maria Lorena Yanga. The DILG has activated an Emergency Operations Center to monitor the implementation of the directives and measures against COVID-19 in LGUs, with hotline numbers at (02) 8876-3454 local 8806 or 8810. The DILG PACC also remains operational at (02) 8925-0343.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097416

Question from Viber: I am from San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal. Are barangays or home associations allowed to prohibit the entry of LPG gas and mineral water deliveries inside a subdivision? Also, is it right that residents will only be given a certain period/time to buy essential needs (i.e. 6-10am then 4-8pm)?

Answer: (April 20, 2020)

On March 31, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered barangays to dismantle checkpoints because these had been impeding the transport of goods and essential workers during the quarantine. Only checkpoints manned by the Philippine National Police are authorized to inspect cargo trucks. The DILG also advised local government units to lift the window hours for market runs and grocery shopping to prevent the risk of gathering more people all at once. DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that it would be much safer if 12 hours of shopping for essential needs is allowed.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1252003/dilg-dismantle-all-checkpoints and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248332/lift-window-hours-for-market-grocery-runs-lgus-told

Question from Email: I just want to ask if my brother’s IATF ID will be accepted in checkpoints upon entering NCR, even if it was issued by the Department of Energy for Batangas. He is a non-medical frontliner and he wants to pick me up in Paranaque so I could help him take care of our parents.

Answer: (April 20, 2020)

Your brother can pass through border checkpoints using his IATF identification card. But if you are going to ride with him, you may be required to present an IATF ID and if you don’t have one, your brother may be given a ticket for violation. Last April 15, the IATF directed the Philippine National Police to strictly impose the policy on Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR). If the driver or any of the passengers is not authorized, the Highway Patrol Group will issue LTOV [LTO violation receipt] or MMDA OVR [Ordinance Violation Receipt] tickets against the drivers of those private vehicles transporting unauthorized persons outside residence as identified by JTFCV Shield. You may want to get in touch with HPG (they are in charge of border control points along provincial and national roads) or the DOH. Your reason for travelling to be able to take care of your senior parents maybe considered humanitarian. Humanitarian purposes can be exemptions from the strict home quarantine. According to the IATF Joint Resolutions Nos. 11 and 12, the Department of Health is “authorized to grant exemptions based on humanitarian considerations in favor of outbound travelers traveling to jurisdictions when travel restrictions are in place.”

You may contact DOH at (02) 894-COVID (02-894-26843) or 1555 / 86517800 local 1149/1150. The HPG also launched a hotline – 0926-2255474.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243036/luzon-island-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine-palace#ixzz6HVFFr4Rl and http://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/LAGING-HANDA-PRESS-BRIEFING-April-25-2020.pdf.

Question from Email: Yung anak kong seaman ay dumating noong April 7 at ngayon po ay nasa Stone House Hotel sa QC para sa 14 days quarantine. Ano po ang kailangan ipakita ng driver ng inarkila naming sasakyan sa checkpoints para hindi hulihin kung susunduin na ang anak ko after ng quarantine niya? Sa San Juan, Batangas po ihahatid ang anak ko.

Answer: (April 20, 2020)

Sa sandaling matapos ang 14-araw na quarantine, kailangan kumuha ng OFW na galing sa ibang bansa ng certification of clearance mula sa inyong lokal na health office. Ang clearance na ito kasama ang katibayan na galing sa ibang bansa ang inyong anak, at kanyang ID ang kanyang ipapakita sa checkpoint na kanyang daraaanan. Hindi pipigilan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ang mga OFWs na bibiyahe na may clearance o sila na isasailalim sa 14-araw na home quarantine, ayon mismo kay Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesperson ng inter-agency task force on the coronavirus.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1254540/iatf-on-ofws

Question from Email: Are there policies in granting the ECQ Pass? My aunt just moved to a new residence last year and was not granted with a pass because according to the officials, she is not a registered voter in the barangay.

Answer: (April 18, 2020)

Policies on the quarantine pass will depend on local government units because this is not a national directive and is only imposed by localities. However, she may appeal to the local officials because she must be allowed to go out to buy essentials. An individual from each house is authorized to go out if they will avail services from open establishments, according to the national policy. For any complaints against local officials on the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine against COVID, you may contact the Department of Interior and Local Government Emergency Operations Center hotlines at 02-8876-3454 local 8806/8810 or 02-8925-0343.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1244515/list-persons-authorized-to-go-out-during-luzon-lockdown and https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-to-go-after-local-execs-barangay-officials-charging-fees-for-passes-food-stubs-during-enhanced-community-quarantine/NC-2020-1066

Question from Email: I am working at a car leasing company. Our management plans to implement a skeleton workforce after a month-long temporary closure. What document do we need to provide for us to report in our office?

Answer: (April 18, 2020)

Car leasing companies are not among the listed establishments exempted from the lockdown so you would be flagged on your way to work. You can discuss the matter with your company and note that non-essential business establishments are still not allowed to operate until the end of the lockdown on April 30.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1246653/iatf-lays-down-new-requirements-exemptions-to-luzon-wide-lockdown#ixzz6HUa6wFib and https://dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-to-LGUs-PNP-Close-non-essential-business-operations/NC-2020-1095

Question from Email: I am planning to travel back to Davao from France on May. I’ve heard Davao airport is still closed. When do you think the Davao Airport will open? What would be the quarantine protocols when I arrived in Manila? Would I stay in a hotel for 14 days or government facilities? Who would decide? I don’t have any family in Manila.

Answer: (April 18, 2020)

The enhanced community quarantine in Davao, which was supposed to end on April 19, was extended until April 26. This means all non-essential inbound sea, land and air travels, except for vital cargo and emergencies, will be prohibited in the region until April 26. Davao’s leaders are closely monitoring the trend in the cases and will decide what best to do after April 26, according to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, chair of the region’s inter-agency task force on emerging infectious diseases. Whether you would be required to undergo a 14-day home quarantine or a 14-day quarantine in a facility will depend on the Bureau of Quarantine stationed at the airport. Among the designated quarantine facilities are the New Clark City Athlete’s Village (for OFWs), hotels in certain areas in Luzon and two private ships docked at South Harbor Port Area, Manila.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1260016/davao-region-extends-community-quarantine-to-april-26; http://www.poea.gov.ph/memorandumcirculars/2020/MC-07-2020.pdf and https://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/IATF-Reso-No-18.pdf

Question from Viber: Has the government posted the official guidelines for the social amelioration program and other program for workers?

Answer: (April 18, 2020)

The guidelines on the social amelioration assistance stated in Republic Act No. 11469 or more known as “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” can be found in the joint resolution issued by the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Trade and other implementing agencies. The joint resolution defines the target beneficiaries, including workers, and their qualifications as well as the needed documentary requirements. You can read it here: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/03mar/20200328-JOINT-MEMORANDUM-CIRCULAR-NO-1-S-2020.pdf or check https://www.dbm.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/Issuances/2020/Joint-Memorandum-Circular/DSWD-DOLE-DTI-DA-DOF-DBM-DILG%E2%80%93Joint-Memorandum-Circular-No-1-s-2020-OFFICIAL-RELEASE.pdf

Question from Email: We deployed our staff to Bacacay, Albay to service a store opening. They had to stop because of the lockdown and do 14 days quarantine as required by Brgy Officials. Now they are done with the quarantine and have secured quarantine clearance and worker passes. Can our team go home to Bacoor Cavite? They have a private L-300 type service, with 1 driver and 4 passengers. They have been stranded for almost 20 days already.

Answer: (April 18, 2020)

You or your workers may ask for help from the mayor of Bacacay or from Albay Governor Al Francis C. Bichara. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Secretary Eduardo Ano states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.” Governor Bichara’s no. is (052) 742 6377 and Albays’s CD/RDRRMC 0917 574 7880. The governor is also on FB and you may send a private message. His handle is https://www.facebook.com/govalbichara/.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email: My uncle is a 64 year old health worker with high blood pressure and just recently recovered from coughs and cold. He was asked to return to work in the emergency room of a hospital. Does he have any right to refuse to work knowing that he is vulnerable to the virus?

Answer: (April 17, 2020)

By the nature of his profession, your uncle is one of the authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) and exempted from the strict home isolation under the extended expanded community quarantine based on the guidelines issued by the IATF. But as a senior citizen, he is also among those who can not leave home according to the IATF, being among those most at risk from COVID-19 infection. Doctors know best the risks of contamination and how to protect themselves. But in the end, it is your uncle’s judgement call between duty and right. He can invoke the latter to refuse to work in emergency room of a hospital.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1244515/list-persons-authorized-to-go-out-during-luzon-lockdown#ixzz6JHkU8EfA; IATF; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1244515/list-persons-authorized-to-go-out-during-luzon-lockdown#ixzz6JHkU8EfA and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1253775/iatf-to-lgus-issue-ordinances-vs-attacks-on-frontliners-covid-19-patients

Question from Email: We are stranded workers here in Boracay and we live in Manila. We cannot get any help here in Sitio Yapak, none of the assistance shown in the news, not even DSWD, which was here in the Yapak covered court. They have issues in cut-off, so they cannot take names anymore. The question is can we at least go home soon?

Answer: (April 17, 2020)

You may ask the barangay chair of Yapak and the mayor of Malay, Aklan for assistance to go home. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Secretary Eduardo Ano states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.” Regardless of what the local DWSD has told you, you may note that stranded workers to include “to individuals affected by work suspension or closure who are in sites or places other than their permanent residence and unable to return home on account of the community ” are entitled to receive the cash assistance under the social amelioration program.

Sources: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf and https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2020/03/28/joint-memorandum-circular-no-1-s-2020/

Question from Email: My mother, a senior citizen, will be arriving from Canada on May 10, Sunday 3:40 am, no longer within the lockdown period. What is the procedure once she arrives relative to the quarantine etc? She is arriving solo with no company. 

Answer: (April 17, 2020)

Please keep posted for updates on the enhanced community quarantine and the guidelines on its implementation. Extending the ECQ is a possibility if a surge in cases is seen, according to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. It is, however, important to note that the virus incubation period can last up to 14 days. So, whether or not the lockdown period ends by April 30, it is advisable that individuals from abroad undergo a self-quarantine as symptoms can appear later.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1260189/lockdown-to-possibly-extend-after-april-30-if-covid-19-cases-increase-dilg-chief-says

Question from Email: I’ve been stranded in Manila since Mar 14, 2020 on self-quarantine since I came here. Is there a plan to allow stranded people to go back to their provinces? Specially those that have done their part in self-quarantine. It’s a financial burden to be stranded in MM.

Answer: (April 16, 2020)

Those stranded who wish to go home to other areas within Luzon, especially in the provinces, are advised to stay in place because they could be carriers of COVID-19 and pose health risks to their families. The government provides free transport services only to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and arranges sweeper flights only for returning Filipinos and OFWs.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1249937/dilg-to-stranded-workers-stay-where-you-are-until-luzon-wide-quarantine-is-over

Question from Facebook: Buntis po ako at malapit na po ang kabuwanan ko. Nandito po ako sa Cavite. Pwede po bang sunduin ng tatay ko ang mister ko sa Bulacan para makarating siya dito sa Cavite? Naka-schedule po ako nang Cesarian sa May 2 pero pwede din po akong manganak any time soon dahil high risk pregnancy po ako.

Answer: (April 16, 2020)

Yes, your father coming from Bulacan may fetch your husband who is in Cavite. Medical reasons are among the exemptions mentioned when the community quarantine was imposed in the entire Luzon on March 16. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesperson of the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inter-agency task force reiterated these exemptions during his virtual presser on April 16. Please note that strict border controls may now be in place, it is best to get in touch with the Department of Health. According to the IATF Joint Resolutions Nos. 11 and 12, the Department of Health is “”authorized to grant exemptions based on humanitarian considerations in favor of outbound travelers traveling to jurisdictions when travel restrictions are in place.”” You may contact DOH at (02) 894-COVID (02-894-26843) or 1555 / 86517800 local 1149/1150.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243036/luzon-island-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine-palace#ixzz6HVFFr4Rl; https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/03mar/20200313-MEMO-RRD.pdf and https://pcoo.gov.ph/press-briefing/inter-agency-task-force-virtual-presser-with-cabinet-secretary-karlo-nograles-8/

Question from Viber: Would we be able to get our 3-year old daughter in Bulacan during the ECQ? We are residents of Mandaluyong. My mother-in-law, a senior citizen, is the one taking care of our daughter, but due to her age, she might not be able to care for our daughter for a prolonged period since the ECQ is extended until 30th April.

Answer: (April 16, 2020)

Yes, you can. Among the exemptions mentioned when the community quarantine was imposed in the entire Luzon on March 16 are medical and humanitarian reasons. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesperson of the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inter-agency task force, reiterated these exemptions during his virtual presser on April 16. Since strict border controls are in place, it is best to get in touch with the Department of Health. According to the IATF Joint Resolutions Nos. 11 and 12 on March 13 the Department of Health is “”authorized to grant exemptions based on humanitarian considerations in favor of outbound travelers traveling to jurisdictions when travel restrictions are in place. You may contact DOH at (02) 894-COVID (02-894-26843) or 1555 / 86517800 local 1149/1150.

Question from Email: I am Taguig for training noong natrap ako due to ECQ. Gusto ko sanang umuwi to Batangas, where I have young kids, lalo na’t walang kasiguruhan kung kailan matatapos ang ECQ. I heard that yung mga OFWs nakakauwi naman sa bayan namin, then 14 days home quarantine. Ako po ay galing lang ng Manila, nasa bahay lang naman at hindi nakakalabas. Pwede rin ba akong makauwi?

Answer: (April 16, 2020)

You should reach out to the barangay or local government where you are staying as they are tasked to provide you with transportation going to Batangas The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.”

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email: Namatay ang father ko noong Sunday at gusto ko po sanang umuwi ng Negros. Dito ako nakatira sa Imus, Cavite. Ano pong mga kailangan kong gawin para makauwi sa amin?

Answer: (April 16, 2020)

You may be exempted from the quarantine guidelines for humanitarian reasons. However, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental have closed all its borders, ports and airports and restricted all kinds of travel until April 14. Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has placed the entire province on enhanced community quarantine until April 18, but he said that it might extend depending on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1242957/negros-oriental-negros-occidental-shut-borders-to-combat-covid-19-spread and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1249937/dilg-to-stranded-workers-stay-where-you-are-until-luzon-wide-quarantine-is-over

Question from Email: Can all restaurants/cafes open during the ECQ? What permits are needed? We want to open our restaurant but only for takeout and delivery, no dine-in.

Answer: (April 16, 2020)

Yes, you can open your restaurants but only to provide take-out and delivery services. There should be no dine-in services.

Source: https://pcoo.gov.ph/press-briefing/press-conference-of-cabinet-secretary-karlo-nograles-pcoo-secretary-martin-andanar-doh-secretary-francisco-duque-iii-doj-secretary-menardo-guevarra-dilg-secretary-eduardo-ano/

Question from Email: My husband, a dual citizen (Canada/Philippines), is scheduled to fly to Manila in May 2020. We would like to seek clarifications as to what quarantine procedures would apply to him. Would he have to stay in a government-designated hotel for 14 days? Is it home quarantine? If the duration of his travel to the Philippines is only 7 days, does it mean that he needs to extend his stay as 7 days is not enough to get quarantined?

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

During the extended expanded community quarantine to last until April 30, the Bureau of Quarantine stationed at the airport will check all arriving Filipinos from abroad and decide if they must undergo a 14-day quarantine in a facility or at home, according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. If asked to do home quarantine, it is only after the 14-day isolation that they should receive a clearance from the local health office. To date, we don’t know if this will still be the procedure in May. Please keep posted.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1254540/iatf-on-ofws

Question from Email: My name is Mark, a seafarer, currently staying in savoy hotel (near NAIA) for my 14-day quarantine. After this quarantine, my fiancé plans to pick me up and she’s coming from Antipolo. My question is, aside from her quarantine pass, what other documents do we need for the checkpoint? I’m hoping that you can help me with this. Thank you so much

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesperson of the country’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inter-agency task force, said on April 6 that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been issued DOH or LGU certificate of completion of 14-day facility-based quarantine, or those who may be required by the DOH or LGUs to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine be allowed unhampered transit. Private vehicles are allowed to fetch OFWs provided there’s proof of their recently arrived OFW’s flight’s itinerary, and/or certificate of completion of quarantine or requirement to take quarantine. Please note that only one person may be allowed to pick you up.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1254540/iatf-on-ofws#ixzz6JfTKg3n1

Question from Email: I live in Trinidad, Bohol. Can you please confirm that we do not have any confirmed cases. LTO says re-registration is suspended – OK. But my annual insurance has also run out and I can get no response from the insurer in Manila. I don’t like driving without insurance. What should I do?

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

The Insurance Commission told Inquirer that the sender may request for a renewal of his/her expired motor car insurance through his/her agent. If he/she wishes to procure a motor insurance from a different provider, there are a lot of companies which allow you to buy and pay for insurance online. According to the Department of Health Covid-19 tracker, as of 4 pm of April 14, there is a single Covid-19 case in Central Visayas where Bohol province is located. As per Michael Rellosa, Director, Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA) executive director, you may contact the following:

  1. Your agent
  2. Your company’s web page or Facebook page
  3. Your company’s head office
  4. Or the Insurance Commission
  5. You can copy us in and we will try to relay the message

Question from Email: One of our staff is from QC but is stuck here in Batangas since the ECQ started. The company project he was in has been stopped due to ECQ. Can our driver drive him to QC from Batangas? What are the requirements he needs to present to any checkpoint? Please be aware that he doesn’t have a quarantine pass as well due to the situation.

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson B/Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer the employee cannot return to his Quezon City residence because he is not among those exempted from the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. Banac said the employee will only be rejected in checkpoints manned by police personnel if he attempts to cross from Batangas.

Question from Email: Are individuals or groups, politicians or not, exempted from curfew when bringing snacks to checkpoints?

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

Philippine National Police spokesperson B/Gen. Bernard Banac told the Inquirer that people bringing food for police personnel manning checkpoints are not exempted from the curfew imposed in Luzon due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Banac said it would be better if these people course their food donation to the Office of Civil Defense for distribution. And while Banac said they were thankful for the “well-meaning gesture,” they already informed these donors to follow the ECQ guidelines “and not to venture out anymore after that.”Banac said these donors have so far complied with them. Also, he said politicians are not exempted from the curfew. He reminded that government officials doing official function are exempted from the curfew. 

Question from Email: I am currently stranded in Isabela. I am a Singapore Citizen and I understand that the quarantine has now been extended to 30th April 2020. By that time, my visa to stay in the Philippines would have expired. Do I need to apply for an extension of my visa or is there a waiver in view of the current situation? With the domestic airports closed, how I can reach NAIA to leave the country?

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

ou should reach out to the barangay or local government where you are staying as they are tasked to provide you with transportation going to Manila. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.” You may also contact the Singapore Embassy in Manila at +63-2-8856-9922, +63-917-860-4740 or [email protected] or the Department of Tourism in Cagayan at (6378) 373-9563, 304-1499 or 373-0786 to help you on the arrangement of sweeper flights for stranded persons.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email: I am an American citizen and also a permanent resident of the Philippines as a spouse married to a Filipina. We reside in Cagayan de Oro City, I have a permanent 13A visa with my current I-card. I have lived in Cagayan de Oro City for several years and I do not reside in the United States any more. Currently, I am stuck overseas in Malaysia but I am trying to return home. I have e-mailed the Bureau of Immigration and I meet the guidelines as a spouse to return to the Philippines but I cannot do home quarantine in CDO. I will land in Manila, can I do the quarantine there? How will it be arranged and where would I be staying? Will I be like the OFW’s and stay at an assigned hotel? How will food and other essentials be arranged? I am willing to pay for hotel and food I just need to know how it can be arranged.

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

Whether you will be ordered to undergo quarantine in a facility or a mandatory quarantine at home will depend on the Bureau of Quarantine stationed at the airport, which will check you upon your arrival. If ordered to undergo home quarantine, you must not leave your room and home until you have been cleared by the local health officials after 14 days. Among the quarantine facilities currently used are government buildings at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac and the Rizal Stadium.

Sources: http://www.tourism.gov.ph/news_features/roomsreservedforofwsquarantine.aspx and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1254514/iatf-on-new-clark-city-1000-bed-covid-19-hospital

Question from Email: Hi! I’m in Norway now need to go back home to the Philippines. Can i have my quarantine procedure at my home in Tac? I will arrive at the Manila International Airport around 6 pm. Can i stay one night at hotel then tomorrow flight to tac for the first flight or should i stay only in the airport? pls respond

Answer: (April 15, 2020)

All returning Filipinos shall be subjected to social distancing and quarantine procedures upon arrival at the airport. The Bureau of Quarantine will determine if you are required to undergo a 14-day home quarantine or a 14-day quarantine in a facility. Designated quarantine facilities include the New Clark City Athlete’s Village (for OFWs) and hotels in certain areas in Luzon.

Sources: http://www.poea.gov.ph/memorandumcirculars/2020/MC-07-2020.pdf and https://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/IATF-Reso-No-18.pdf

Question from Email: Has there been news released regarding the confirmed estimated date of the quarantine lifting in Cebu?

Answer: (April 14, 2020)

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia had said on April 6 that she could not estimate when she would likely lift the enhanced community quarantine currently in place in Cebu province because there are several factors that need to be considered. She also said that she did not want to give “false hopes” to Cebuanos. Garcia issued Executive Order No. 5-N and 5-0 on March 25 and 28, respectively, which placed the province on ECQ and set its guidelines, but she did not indicate an expiration date on the measure.

Sources: https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/297251/cebu-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine; https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/300480/gwen-still-too-early-to-decide-on-lifting-of-ecq and https://www.facebook.com/cdndigital/photos/pcb.10158572020589589/10158572017154589/?type=3&theater

Question from Email: I am stranded here in Thailand because all my flights are cancelled. Is Cebu Mactan Airport accepting international flights? If not, when are they going to operate again?

Answer: (April 14, 2020)

All Filipino citizens are allowed to fly back home to the Philippines during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). But on March 25, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order No. 5-N and placed Cebu province on enhanced community quarantine. Included in the EO is the ban on the entry of all passengers arriving on international flights, regardless of their port of origin, beginning March 27. However, there are sweeper flights at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport organized by foreign embassies and consulates in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Tourism. These are special flights that you may take as it is organized for stranded passengers. You may get in touch with the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok ([email protected] or [email protected]) for further details. There is no target date when the ECQ in Cebu province will be lifted since Garcia did not indicate an expiration date on the measure.

Sources: https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/297251/cebu-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine?fbclid=IwAR388ncaFFBghzQKvaJeo4IAB2kFe_XTEoJ2Uet1p3gWKSCC_4NUGhDYbW0; https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/300480/gwen-still-too-early-to-decide-on-lifting-of-ecq and https://www.facebook.com/MCIAA/photos/pcb.1607179329438955/1607179079438980/?type=3&theater

Question from Facebook: I was given a certificate from the hospital so I can provide transportation every time my sister which is a frontliner (nurse) will go to work due to lack of transportation service of the hospital. Is the certificate from the hospital valid for me to be able to pass through the checkpoint?

Answer: (April 14, 2020)

Aside from the certification from the hospital, it might help if you coordinate with your local government and inform them that you are tasked to drive your sister, a nurse, to and from the hospital, given there was no public transport available due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Based on the March 21, 2020 suppletory guidelines issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government, local government units were tasked to coordinate with the police and military in allowing the “unrestricted movement” of certain personnel “from their residences to their place of work.” This included among others, all medical professionals, hospital administrative staff, and aides from private facilities as well as their transportation service provider.”

Source: https://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/20202/03/DILG-MC-No-2020-062.pdf/

Question from Email: My wife is a dual citizen of the Philippines & the United States. I am an American citizen married to her. We are retiring to the Philippines & scheduled to fly out one way on May 28th, 2020 on Philippines Airlines from San Francisco direct to Manila. Are we able to enter the country upon arrival? We are most willing to self quarantine upon arrival. We are in good health and both of us have paperwork that we have tested negative for Covid-19.

Answer: (April 14, 2020)

Yes, you will be allowed entry based on current policy. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced last March 20 that he had ordered the cancellation of all visas already issued to foreigners, except for foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens, all foreigners—with “no exceptions”—would be barred from entering the country , the same day the ban was to take effect. To double check, ask if your visa has not been cancelled from the nearest Philippine consular office. You will be arriving days after the end of the current Luzon lockdown which is to last until April 30. Keep posted if there are changes in quarantine and other regulations.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1255035/luzon-wide-quarantine-extended-until-april-30 and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1245312/ph-barring-foreigners-dfa-says-no-exceptions#ixzz6JTcP1nFG

Question from Email: Until when is the liquor ban?

Answer: (April 14, 2020)

The liquor ban is imposed by local government units to promote physical distancing during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine which will end on April 30 in Luzon. Among the cities in Metro Manila that have imposed liquor ban are Quezon City, San Juan, Valenzuela and Manila.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1251479/san-juan-city-enforces-liquor-ban; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1250790/manila-imposes-liquor-ban-amid-covid-19-crisis; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248511/valenzuela-imposes-liquor-ban-during-enhanced-community-quarantine-period and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1249257/qc-imposes-liquor-ban-until-end-of-luzon-wide-quarantine

Question from Email: My brother is on assisted living at a home care center. Are home care centers required to provide a thirty-day extension to all payments, without due penalty in light of COVID? How does the policy on Bayanihan act relate to this?

Answer: (April 14, 2020)

Unfortunately, the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” did not address home care centers. The law meant as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic did set a grace period of 30 days but this only involved  loan and rent payments during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, and not payments of service rendered by an institution. For instance the Implementing Rules and Regulations issued by the Department of Finance in relation to the new law only covered lending institutions such as banks and pawnshops which are required to provide a 30-day grace period or extension of loan payments without interests during the enhanced community quarantine — which has since been extended until April 30. 

Source:  https://www.dof.gov.ph/dof-releases-bayanihan-act-irr-on-30-day-extension-for-loan-payments/

Question from Email: I am a call center agent on a night shift. Am I excempted from travelling to work during the curfew hours under ECQ?

Answer: (April 13, 2020)

Call center agents and other business process outsourcing (BPO) employees are among those exempted from the strict guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine, as per Resolution No. 14 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease.

Source: https://ptvnews.ph/salient-points-of-iatf-resolution-no-14-as-delivered-by-cabinet-secretary-karlo-nograles/

Question from Facebook: I’m driving for my brother-in-law who is a DOH doctor in QMMC. Do I need a quarantine pass? Kasi pag sa check point, pinapakita niya ang ID niya pag magkasama kami. Paano pagkahatid ko sa kanya?

Answer: (April 12, 2020)

No, there is no need for you to have a quarantine pass. Doctors and their drivers are among those exempted from the mandatory home isolation based on a comprehensive list of exemptions issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. But you may need to present a certification from your brother or from QMMC that you are your brother’s driver and your identification card just in case you are driving without your brother.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1244515/list-persons-authorized-to-go-out-during-luzon-lockdown#ixzz6JHkU8EfA

Question from Email: We were stranded in Caticlan, Aklan since 17 March 2020 and have transferred to Nabas, Aklan in 24 March for cheaper accommodation. Now that the ECQ is extended until end of April, our remaining money will now be insufficient. We are trying to travel to our home in Quezon City. We are traveling by car so all we need is a permit to board the RORO from Caticlan to Batangas Port and a permit to pass through checkpoints along the route to Quezon City. How can we obtain such permit? We already sought the help of the Coast Guard, the MDRRMO and Department of Tourism, but they were unable to help.

Answer: (April 12, 2020)

You should go to the nearest punong barangay or to the municipal mayor of Nabas, Aklan to facilitate your travel back to Quezon City via Batangas. The DILG memorandum circular no. 2020-062 issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano states that punong barangays, municipal mayors along with city mayors, provincial governors and other LGU officials should provide transport to stranded persons and that “the LGU may coordinate with other LGUs for the transport of said persons.”

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email: My husband works at a children’s welfare foundation and during somedays his shift is 2pm-10pm. Will he be apprehended when going home past curfew? What documents should he present?

Answer: (April 12, 2020)

Your husband may be allowed to pass through checkpoints if he cites humanitarian reasons for his job in a children’s welfare foundation. Among the exemptions mentioned when the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine was imposed are frontline health workers, authorized government officials, medical reasons and humanitarian reasons. He should bring a company ID or other proof of employment and address to be presented at checkpoints.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243036/luzon-island-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine-palace

Question from Email: Lumuwas po dito sa Makati si mama last March 14 dahil pinacheck up po siya for possible nasopharyngeal cancer and dito na siya naabutan ng ECQ. Her case has worsened and needs a biopsy, but hindi kami makagalaw here in Makati and gusto naming iuwi siya sa Pampanga at doon magtreatment. Papayagan ba nilang masundo kami ng father ko from Pampanga? May mga documents ba na kailangang ipakita sa mg check points bukod sa medical certificate? Does he need to secure a travel pass and from whom?

Answer: (April 8, 2020)

Makabubuti pong makipag-ugnayan sa lokal na pamahalaan ng Makati City at Bulacan para maiuwi ang iyong ina sa inyong tahanan. Ito ay base na rin sa memorandum circular no. 2020-062 na inisyu ng Department of Interior and Local Government noong Marso 21 sa lahat ng local government officials magmula sa gobernador, punong bayan at lungsod at iba mga lokal na opisyal na siyang nagpapatupad ng enhanced community quarantine sa buong Luzon.

Partikular na isinasaad sa Section 5 ng circular na ang “transportasyon ay kailangan ibigay ng LGU para sa mga nangangailangan ng pangunahing serbisyo gaya nang pagdadala ng may sakit sa ospital o klinika.” Kailangan din tugunan ng LGU ang transportasyon ng mga tao na stranded sa pamamagitan ng pakikipagkoordinasyon sa iba pang LGU para maihatid sa kanyang patutunguhan ang na-stranded.

Malinaw rin ang pahayag ng DILG na ang lahat ng nangangailangan ng tulong medikal ay papayagang makabiyahe.

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020322_28333f20aa.pdf

Question from Email: I am a resident of Marilao, Bulacan where there is a policy that we can only go out 3 days only in a week and those days depend on the last digit of the ecq pass number and in my case my last digit is 1 and so I am only allowed to go out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Is there such a policy by the national government?

Answer: (April 8, 2020)

No, the quarantine pass is not a policy of the national government so rules regarding quarantine passes vary depending on the barangay because it is issued by barangay officials. NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas said on March 27 that the issuance of quarantine passes is not a national policy imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and that such a ticket shall only be used exclusively within the barangay.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1249392/ncrpo-barangay-quarantine-pass-not-a-national-policy-not-honored-at-checkpoints

Question from Email: Yung mother ko po with the rest of her siblings ay umuwi po ng Cagayan before po magdeclare si PDU30 ng Luzon lockdown kasi po namatay po yung lolo namin. Natapos na po nila ang 14-day quarantine period nila doon at binigyan na po sila ng doctor nila ng certification and permit to travel. Is it enough to show to all checkpoints na madaanan nila from Cagayan to Caloocan?

Answer: (April 8, 2020)

You may advise your mother and her siblings to coordinate with the town mayor, Cagayan governor or other local officials. They have been tasked to provide transportation for stranded persons and coordinate with other LGUs (Manila) based on the March 21 memo circular by the DILG secretary to LGUs. A gentle reminder when they travel back to Manila is to observe social distancing (one seat apart).

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020217_d360868

Question from Email: We have a house maid who is currently showing early signs of anxiety disorder. She badly wants to go back to her hometown in San Pablo, Zamboanga del Sur. We are in GMA, Cavite. Can she be granted a travel pass to return to her province? To whom should we coordinate with? We fear her condition may worsen and lead to actual nervous breakdown. We also would wish to have her consult a mental health practioner, any hotlines for this service while on ECQ?

Answer: (April 8, 2020)

To consult a health professional, you may call the National Center for Mental Health hotlines: 0917-899-USAP (8727) or 989-USAP (8727). For her transportation and/or travel pass to a clinic or to Zamboanga del Sur, you may coordinate with the local officials of GMA, Cavite or with the governor of Cavite. They have been tasked to provide transportation for those needing to go to hospitals or clinics and for stranded persons based on the March 21 memo circular by the DILG secretary to LGUs.

Sources: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/issuances/memo_circulars/dilg-memocircular-2020217_d360868 and https://twitter.com/Inq_Researchers/status/1241723339611099143

Question from Email: May I inquire if Visayas and Mindanao regions are not included in the extended ECQ for Luzon region.

Answer: (April 8, 2020)

The enhanced community quarantine which was extended until April 30 is only for Luzon. According to Inter-Agency Task Force spokesperson Karlo Nograles, the guidelines governing the implementation of the quarantine would remain in effect unless changed by the President. Some provinces and cities in Mindanao and Visayas implemented their own community quarantine measures and it is upon their discretion to extend these too. In Lapu-lapu City in Cebu, the community quarantine has already been extended until April 28.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1255035/luzon-wide-quarantine-extended-until-april-30 and https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/300797/chan-ecq-in-lapu-extended-until-april-29

Question from Email: In a house with three families, how many passes does the barangay have to issue? What is our right if our barangay official is selective on issuing passes?

Answer: (April 8, 2020)

The issuance of quarantine passes is a prerogative of local government units so rules covering its distribution such as the number of passes given to a household may vary from place to place. However, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned that local officials abusing their powers in the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be held liable for their actions. DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año emphasized the need for barangay officials and police forces to practice respect for human rights in the implementation of ECQ as the primary goal of the community quarantine is to prevent the spread of the virus and must not be a time to violate human rights. The public should call the DILG Emergency Operations Center hotlines 02-8876-3454 local 8806/8810 or 02-8925-0343 for complaints against local officials in the implementation of ECQ

Source: https://www.dilg.gov.ph/news/DILG-to-go-after-local-execs-barangay-officials-charging-fees-for-passes-food-stubs-during-enhanced-community-quarantine/NC-2020-1066

Question from Email: My son is ending his seamanship training on board a vessel in Batangas City on April 15 thereabouts. Will I be allowed to fetch my son and bring him home to Pandi Bulacan where we live. I will be using a private car. What requirements do I and my son need to prepare? If ever, travel route shall be NLEX, SLEX, Star toll to Batangas port and back.

Answer: (April 7, 2020)

Since the government announced on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, that it has extended the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon until April 30, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in an online briefing that that the guidelines governing the implementation of the quarantine would remain in effect unless changed by the President.’That is, only those exempted from travel will be allowed during the lockdown and the rest are not allowed to travel in Luzon until April 30. Since you’re son is technically not yet set for deployment overseas, he cannot travel from Batangas to Bulacan. You also cannot fetch him since you are not exempted for travel under the quarantine guidelines.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1255035/luzon-wide-quarantine-extended-until-april-30/

Question from Viber: We are 4 in the family, our eldest is 20 years old and i am already 66 years old. As written in our quarantine pass, persons below 21 years old and over 65 years old are not allowed to go out. Can we get a special pass to buy provisions?

Answer: (April 7, 2020)

You may ask your barangay for permission to use your quarantine pass given your situation. The rules on the quarantine pass will vary depending on the local government unit because it is not a national directive. However, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año already appealed to LGUs to allow senior citizens who live alone to leave the house so they could buy essentials.

Sources: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1249392/ncrpo-barangay-quarantine-pass-not-a-national-policy-not-honored-at-checkpoints and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248697/senior-citizens-living-alone-should-also-get-quarantine-pass-says-ano

Question from Email: My coworkers will be arriving in the PH from Taiwan by April 15. If the ECQ is already lifted, does that mean that they can freely travel from NAIA to Batangas without restrictions? If the ECQ will be extended, what will happen to them upon arriving at airport on the same date? Will they still be allowed to travel here in Batangas through a private car?

Answer: (April 7, 2020)

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine has been extended until April 30 and guidelines governing the implementation of the ECQ would remain in effect, subject to changes on the order of Malacañang. Based on previous guidelines and advisories, private vehicles are allowed to transport and fetch passengers from the airport provided that they bring proof of the passenger’s flight itinerary. Also, have your identification cards with your place of residence ready. Only one person is allowed to pick up the passenger to observe proper social/physical distancing, according to the Department of Transportation.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1255035/luzon-wide-quarantine-extended-until-april-30 and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243868/dotr-on-private-vehicles-in-airports

Question from Email: Lahat po ba ng manggagaling sa abroad ay mandatory na magkaquarantine for 14 days or piling tao lang po?

Answer: (April 6, 2020)

Pagkalapag sa airport ng mga Pilipinong galing abroad, lahat sila ay susuriin ng Bureau of Quarantine upang idetermina kung sino ang kailangang sumailalim sa 14-araw na quarantine sa isang quarantine facility o sa mandatory home quarantine, ayon sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.  Silang sasailalim sa home quarantine ay kailangan makipag-ugnayan sa kanilang punong barangay. 

Source: http://quarantine.doh.gov.ph/faqs/

Question from Email: I am a single mom with a toddler (5yo), and we live by ourselves, thus I cannot leave him with anyone. Leaving him with the neighbors is also too risky. Can this be an exemption for more than one quarantine pass per household?

Answer: (April 6, 2020)

Yes. Among the exemptions for “strict home quarantine’ being implemented in all households are for medical reasons and for humanitarian reasons.. You just have to observe social distancing and stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away specially from a person who is sick., practice proper hygiene and wear mask.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1243036/luzon-island-now-under-enhanced-community-quarantine-palace#ixzz6HVFFr4Rl

Question from Email: Ako po ay isang marino na dumating noong March 21 sa Pilipinas. Tapos na po ang aking 14 days self-quarantine at mayroon akong medical certificate na nagsasabing wala akong sintomas. Nakahanap ako ng kotseng masasakyan. Ano po ang kailangang ipakita sa checkpoint para makauwi ako sa Aparri Cagayan?

Answer: (April 6, 2020)

You will be allowed to travel to Aparri, Cagayan after you undergo the 14-day quarantine and you are cleared, according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. According to the DOH, you may get your certificate of quarantine completion and clearance from your barangay/barangay health center or from the nearest barangay where you are staying. The Inter-Agency Task Force in its Resolution No. 18 has strongly enjoined LGUs to allow the unhampered transit of OFWs who have been issued DOH or LGUs certificate of completion of 14-day facility-based quarantine or those who may be required by the DOH or LGUs to undergo a mandatory 14-day home. It is best to bring your certificate of quarantine completion along with your medical clearance, proof of travel from abroad and your identification card to be presented at checkpoints.

Sources: http://quarantine.doh.gov.ph/public-advisory-no-12-interim-guidelines-on-the-management-of-persons-under-monitoring-pums-suspected-with-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-191-for-home-quarantin/quarantine and https://www.facebook.com/Inquirerlibre/posts/10159029648252573

Question from Email: uncle sent us balikbayan boxes that contain canned goods and other essentials. Will it be delivered to us during the quarantine or will Customs will hold it?

Answer: (April 3, 2020)

The movement of all types of cargo (food and nonfood) remain unhampered, as ordered in the Resolution No. 14 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease. The Bureau of Customs and other logistic service providers are among those exempted from the enhanced community quarantine, so business operations of companies engaged in cargo handling, warehousing, trucking, freight forwarding, and shipping line, continue to operate. However, while processing and release of shipments continue 24/7 at Customs, delivery of balikbayan boxes depends on the freight forwarding company that handles the balikbayan box, according to a Customs staff. You may contact the company to ask for updates on the balikbayan box sent by your uncle.

Source: IATF Resolution No. 14

Question from Viber: May I ask about the guidelines of mass gathering with regards to the ECQ?

Answer: (April 2, 2020)

Mass gatherings shall be prohibited during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine. As defined by a memorandum on stringent social distancing measures signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, a mass gathering is “a planned or spontaneous event where the number of people attending the event could strain the planning and response resources of the city or municipality where the event will be held.” It includes movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work-related gatherings. Essential work-related meetings and religious activities may continue so long as strict social distancing, defined as the strict maintenance of a distance of at least one (1) meter radius between and among those attending, is maintained during the entirety of the event. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall ensure that private establishments in operation strictly maintain social distancing in their businesses.

Source:  https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1242084/ph-quarantine-guidelines-among-the-strictest-in-asia#ixzz6IEkZKbdH

Question from Viber: What are the special powers given to the president by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act?

Answer: (March 31, 2020)

Republic Act No. 11469 or more known as “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” allows the President to place the country under a state of emergency effective for three months unless extended on top of the already implemented Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine which takes effect until midnight of April 13. Under the new law, the President has the power to realign funds to government measures that will address the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The President is also authorized, when the public interest so requires, to direct the operation of establishments like private hospitals, hotels, and transport companies to support medical facilities and services subject to conditions like the owners retain the management and operation of the enterprise. The authorized powers of the president regarding the purchase of testing kits, coverage of cost of treatment for COVID-19 patients through the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, compensation for infected health workers, emergency subsidy to around 18 million low income household and other powers are listed in Section 4 of the law. You can read the law at https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/03mar/20200324-RA-11469-RRD.pdf.

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1248107/look-bayanihan-to-heal-as-one-act-signed-by-duterte#ixzz6I9k7Lpe8

Question from Facebook: Meron po ba kayong balita kung totoong mandatory na ititigil ang operations ng lahat ng POGO ngayon?

Answer: (March 24, 2020)

On March 18, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) ordered the temporary suspension of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) and its service providers in Luzon while the country is placed under the enhanced community quarantine. Pagcor also said that the skeleton workforce at POGO operating sites is no longer allowed. For tasks that cannot be done remotely, personnel must secure necessary permits from the concerned unit of the Inter-Agency Task Force. POGO operations outside Luzon are advised to abide by community quarantine measures adopted by concerned local government units. Three days later, on March 21, Pagcor Chair Andrea Domingo pushed for the resumption of Pogo operations as well as “junkets” and “e-junkets,” which are gambling arrangements of major casinos involving high rollers.

Sources: https://business.inquirer.net/292896/pagcor-suspends-pogo-operations-in-luzon-workers-ordered-to-stay-home and https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1246292/work-from-home-pogos-pushed-for-more-covid-19-funds

Question from FB Live: Pwede po bang i-extend ang filing ng ITR due date mula sa April 15?

Answer: (March 19, 2020)

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has extended the deadline for the filing of income tax returns (ITR) from April 15 to May 15. However, taxpayers who are ready to file their ITR may do so through online filing and payment platforms.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1244763/bir-itr-filing-deadline-extended-until-may-15-go

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