Provincial buses are seen in this file photo.
The STAR/Boy Santos
Workers from provinces advised to live in Metro Manila as 'coping mechanism' — DTI
Ratziel San Juan ( - March 13, 2020 - 12:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday said that a possible solution for workers from the provinces who will be displaced by the impending lockdown in Metro Manila is to just “find a place” to live or rent in the area for the time being.

“Umupa muna sila para less ang movement ng tao. Sa ganoong paraan din, malilimitahan talaga yung pagpasok labas ng mga tao dito sa Metro Manila,” the Trade secretary said.

(The workers can rent for the meantime in order to lessen the movement of people. In that way, the flow of people to and from Metro Manila would also be limited.)

Lopez and other government officials in a Friday morning press briefing provided clarifications for workers who will be affected by the community quarantine in Metro Manila between March 15 and April 14, during which all land, air and sea travel to and from the area will be restricted in order to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

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This comes after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases declared the highest Code Red Sublevel 2 due to sustained community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Once the said quarantine is in effect, workers residing outside Metro Manila can simply return to the region by presenting a company-issued ID or proof of employment.

“In-assure po natin yung mga, marami ho talaga mga nakatira outside Metro Manila at every day nagko-commute sila so magpakita lang ho ng ID. Mga kumpanya, we would require them to issue IDs to their employees lalo na those living outside Metro Manila or show proof of employment,” Lopez said.

(We assure the many workers living outside Metro Manila who commute every day to just show their ID. We would require companies to issue IDs to their employees especially those living outside Metro Manila or show proof of employment.)

“Isa rin pong nakikita naming mga coping mechanism dito (community quarantine), I'm sure 'yung mga ibang kumpanya will just encourage their people, their employees to find a place muna dito sa Metro Manila.”

(Another coping mechanism we find feasible to community quarantine, I’m sure that there are some companies will just encourage their people, their employees to find a place temporarily here in Metro Manila.)

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