The Metro Manila Council has agreed to implement uniform curfew hours in the National Capital Region starting Monday, March 15, Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said on Thursday.
Abalos told GMA News Online that the curfew hours would be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m and would last for two weeks.
“Iniiwasan po dito ang mga umiikot sa baba, mga nagkla-cluster na mga tao sa kalye. Bakit dalawang linggo? Dahil ang buhay ng virus ay mga dalawang linggo makikita mo na,” Abalos said in a report on “24 Oras.”
[What we are avoiding is the people on the ground, the clusters of people on the streets. Why two weeks? Because the life of the virus is around two weeks.]
He said that the curfew would be lifted once there the number of COVID-19 cases decreased during the 14 days.
According to GMA's reporters Jonathan Andal and Ivan Mayrina, Abalos said essential and night-shift workers are exempted from the curfew.
However, they must present their company ID should they be reprimanded by authorities.
Meanwhile, fast foods and restaurants will be allowed to operate for 24 hours, but dine-ins will be prohibited during curfew hours.
Abalos said that public transportation operations would continue during the curfew.
The public was also advised to expect checkpoints at the boundary of every city, which will be manned by both barangay personnel and police personnel.
“Magkakaroon po tayo ng strict implementation ng ating curfew. Kaya po kasama po natin ang ating pulis dito, magkakaroon po ng border check. May penalty po ng fine po ‘yan at meron po siyang detention,” MMC Chairman and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said.
?[We will have a strict implementation of the curfew. This is why police are included, there will be a border check. There will be a penalty such as fine and detention.]
The fines that will be imposed on violators will also depend on the ordinances that will be passed by local government units.
The MMC, composed of the mayors of the National Capital Region, also discussed intensified basic enhanced enforcement on testing, contact tracing, and quarantine operations in NCR.
The MMDA and the Philippine National Police will also deploy around 300 contact tracers to various local governments in NCR to help with contact tracing.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he would reopen the economy in a matter of weeks because Filipinos needed to return to work despite the recent steep increase in COVID-19 cases.
The Inter-Agency Task Force previously said it would review this week its decisions to loosen restrictions.
An expert from the OCTA Research group projected that the daily new cases of COVID-19 in NCR could reach 5,000 by March 31.
The Philippines has reported a total of 607,048 confirmed cases, of which 546,671 have recovered and 12,608 have died. -NB, GMA News