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Here's a briefer on the uniform Metro Manila curfew
Quezon City Police District Station 10 conducts a quarantine checkpoint along Kalayaan Avenue in Quezon City on Friday, March 12, 2021.
The STAR/Boy Santos

Here's a briefer on the uniform Metro Manila curfew

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - March 14, 2021 - 4:55pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 4: March 16, 2021, 11:39 a.m.) — Metro Manila's 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is set to be implemented starting Monday, March 15 until the end of the month, though the metro remains under general community quarantine. 

"The mission is plain and simple: All police forces will strictly implement the Uniform Curfew Hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will ensure that people in Metro Manila observe the minimum health safety standard protocol," Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, who serves as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police, said in a statement sent to reporters.

The guidelines come as the Department of Health recorded over 3,500 coronavirus cases for four days in a row, punctuated by 4,899 cases on Sunday afternoon. 

Here's what you need to know ahead of the curfew's full implementation.  

READ: Back to 'disiplina'? With rising COVID-19 cases, gov't scrambles to enforce health protocols anew

Where will police visibility be intensified?

Eleazar said that a total of 9,634 cops from the National Capital Region Police Office's five districts will be deployed to "assist" Metro Manila local government units in enforcing curfew and set up 373 checkpoints across the Metro. 

These districts include the Quezon City Police District, Manila Police District, Eastern Police District, Northern Police District and Southern Police District.

The police augmentation forces will come from the Highway Patrol Group, the Reactionary Standby Support Force, and other units.

"Other personnel will be tapped as the need for more police visibility arises," Eleazar said, adding that the existing deployment includes the setting up of more than 373 checkpoints in various strategic areas which will be reinforced by beat and mobile car patrols at the barangay level.

READ: After curfews, checkpoints threaten to stage a comeback

Who are exempted from the curfew? 

  1. Medical practitioners, nurses, ambulance drivers and other workers of medical facilities while on their way to and from work;
     
  2. Attendants of other persons dealing with an emergency medical situation;
     
  3. Persons who are obtaining emergency medical assistance for themselves or for other persons;
     
  4. Drivers of delivery trucks while on their way to deliver essential goods/products;
     
  5. Owners, vendors and other persons involved in the transport and delivery of essential goods;
     
  6. Private employees such as call center agents while on their way to and from work;
     
  7. Construction workers while on their way to and from work;
     
  8. Media practitioners while performing their job;
     
  9. Persons who are travelling to or from airport prior to or after a flight;
     
  10. Drivers of private transportation used as shuttle services while on their way to and from work;
     
  11. Members of law enforcement agencies including security guards, the military, coast guard, fire protection bureau, and other emergency responders;
     
  12. Employees of open fast-food services and establishments (take-out only).

Quarantine passes?: No quarantine passes are required under the unified curfew across Metro Manila. 

Local chief executives, however, are free to impose such ordinances as they see fit. 

"No more travel authority. Quarantine pass is localized depending on the local government unit," Police Maj. Titoy Cuden of the PNP ASCOTF told Philstar.com in Filipino in a text message.

READ: Confused about the 'Authorized Persons Outside of Residence' policy? Here's a quick guide

Police Brig. Gen. Brandi Usana, PNP spokesperson, also told Philstar.com: "Nothing is being required on the PNP side. [We'll maintain] status quo for now until IATF requires relevant travel documents to be implemented back."

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte in a statement Sunday afternoon told barangays that they are "also advised that they may once again issue quarantine passes to their residents to limit movement."

Police preparations?: According to Eleazar, all policemen will undergo a pre-deployment briefing to reiterate the existing policies especially from the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the rules on regulations on uniform curfew hours from the Metro Manila Council.

The PNP Administrative Support on COVID-19 Task Force also said it would "ensure the maximum protection of our personnel that would be deployed by providing them with the necessary protective equipment for their safety from virus infection."

"We have been doing this even before the COVID-19 pandemic so I expect our personnel to be fully aware and maintain the protocols that we have been observing in the implementation of curfew and at the same time, the minimum health safety standard protocols," the police general said. 

'Respecting authority?': The last time cops were deployed to enforce quarantine rules, over 140,000 were arrested for "disobedience" and violating quarantine. Human rights violations were also well-documented during that time period. 

Ahead of the massive police deployment across the Metro, the PNP OIC highlighted the need for mutual respect between Filipinos and police enforcers. 

READ: 'By the book': A look at quarantine incidents and police operational procedures

"To the public, we also offer a formula to prevent unnecessary confrontation and spare yourself from arrest: 1. Respect the rules on the observance of the minimum health safety standard protocols; and 2. Respect the authorities that are enforcing these protocols," Eleazar said.  

"The keyword here is respect. If we know how to respect one another, I assure you of smooth curfew implementation. Let us always bear in mind that your PNP is not the enemy here, our common enemy is the coronavirus and it takes our cooperation to contain the spread of the virus."

Liquor bans?: Quezon City has announced its intent to impose a ban on alcohol until the end of the month. The city added in a statement that it would also close all gyms, spas, and internet cafes for two weeks. 

Valenzuela City will also be imposing a liquor ban from March 16 until April 1, according to an order signed by Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Monday. 

Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Parañaque and Pateros will be implementing a similar measure from March 15 until March 31.

Lockdowns?: The following "special concern areas" announced in Quezon City remain under lockdown: 

  • Portion of Durian Street, Barangay Pasong Tamo - starting February 25
     
  • L. Pascual Street, Barangay Baesa – starting February 26
     
  • De Los Santos Compound, Heavenly Drive, Barangay San Agustin – starting March 1
     
  • No. 46 K-9th Street, Barangay West Kamias expanded to No. 46-50, K-9th Street, Barangay West Kamias – starting March 3 and 8
     
  • 49 & 51 E Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Barangay Doña Josefa – starting March 4
     
  • Paul Street and Thaddeus Street, Jordan Park Homes Subdivision, Doña Carmen, Barangay Commonwealth – starting March 4

  • No. 237 Apo Street, Barangay Maharlika – starting March 4
     
  • No. 64 14th Avenue, Barangay Socorro – starting March 6
     
  • No. 64-B Agno Extension, Barangay Tatalon – starting March 7
     
  • No. 90 Gonzales Compound, Barangay Balon Bato – starting March 8
     
  • No. 2A – 4 K-6th, Barangay West Kamias – starting March 8
     
  • Portion of Sitio 5, Jose Abad Santos, Barangay Sta. Lucia – starting March 9

On Monday morning, Manila City Mayor Francisco Domagoso announced that six more barangays in his locality were also placed under lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. 
These are Brgy. 185, 374, 521, 625, 675, and 837. 

"Station commanders of police stations covering the said barangays are hereby directed to employ and deploy officers and personnel in strategic locations and areas necessary for the effective implementation of the ECQ," the mayor's executive order reads. 

It has been 362 days since enhanced community quarantine was first hoisted. The Philippines is still under the world's longest quarantine. 

Minors?: The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority announced Tuesday morning that the Metro Manila Council is currently drafting a resolution to implement a ban on minors across the 17 cities in the metro. 

"Only individuals aged 18-65 years old are allowed to go outside their residences amid the alarming rising number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila starting tomorrow, March 17," the MMDA said in a Facebook post. 

As it stands, only people aged 15-65 are permitted to leave their homes.

"We are implementing age restrictions because of the increase in our COVID-19 cases. We encourage everyone to strictly observe and practice the minimum health protocols, and be extra careful and follow stringent measures particularly when around vulnerable family members, as there have been reports of transmission among family members. As I've said before, the metro mayors and MMDA are regularly monitoring the COVID-19 numbers and we will implement calibration and changes on our directives depending on the figures that we have," MMDA chief Benhur Abalos said.

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