In this March 19, 2020 handout photo, student volunteers of UP Los Baños and officials of Barangay Batong Malake deliver food aid to UPLB dormers stranded on campus.
TF CURE/Serve The People Brigade, handout
Palace: Dormers with hometowns in Luzon encouraged to go home
Alexis Romero ( - March 26, 2020 - 5:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — Students living in dormitories are allowed to go home during the enhanced community quarantine as long as their hometown is within Luzon, an official said Thursday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said it would be better for students to stay with their families during the quarantine period, which started last March 17 and will end on April 13.

“They can go home. In fact, we are encouraging students who are living in dorms. If their hometown is just within the province, they can go home," Andanar said in a televised press briefing.

It is unclear how the students are expected to go home as public transportation has been suspended.

"The schools and owners of dorms are attending to other things so it would be better for them (students) to be with their families," he added.

For students who are living outside the area where their dormitory is located, they need to present to the police a letter from their schools or the local government that has jurisdiction over their schools.

The letter will inform the police that the student is a resident of a particular city or town.

"Once (the letter) is shown to the police, the students will be allowde to go home as long as it is within Luzon. But if it's outside Luzon, we will have a problem," Andanar said.

The enhanced community quarantine compels people who are not involved in health, food production and other vital services to stay at home to prevent the further spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The lockdown has resulted in the suspension of public transportation and the temporary closure of schools and several business establishments and has forced daily wage earners to rely on government dole-outs. 

Officials have justified the lockdown, saying drastic measures are needed to contain the virus and to mitigate its impact on the economy.

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