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Community quarantine? Año says people from nearby provinces can still go to work in Metro Manila

A passenger wearing a protective mask attempts to get off the train in Manila. REUTERS

Individuals who live outside Metro Manila, such as nearby cities and provinces, can still go to their respective works in the National Capital Region (NCR) despite the ‘community quarantine’ order of President Rodrigo Duterte, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.

On Thursday, Duterte announced the suspension of travel — whether, by land, sea, or domestic air — in and out of NCR starting from Sunday, March 15 until April 14 in order to prevent the further transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In an interview with dzMM, Año said workers will have to present their company IDs at the checkpoint as proof that they are working inside Metro Manila. They will have to follow certain precautions such as hand sanitation and temperature check.

“Tatawagan ‘yong mga magtatrabaho na pumasok provided lang na mayroon lang silang ID. Mayroon lang magpapatunay na ang work nila ay dito sa Metro Manila,” Año said.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview, DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya said that the government will still have to discuss possible requirements for those employees who do not have company IDs but have work in Metro Manila.

According to Año, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will also issue a protocol for mass transportation in order to cater to workers outside Metro Manila.

He also urged the private sectors to implement a more flexible working schedule for employees or a work-from-home scheme if possible.

“We also have to consider ‘yong mga kababayan nating nagtatrabaho lalo na ‘yong mga ordinaryong trabaho pero ‘yong mga pwedeng mag-work sa bahay, we encourage na mag-work from home na lang at magkaroon sana ng flexible schedule sana sa mga private sector. Sana kaya nilang gawin ‘yong para sana mabawasan ‘yong mga taong nagbibiyahe,” Año added.

On the other hand, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that domestic sea, air, and land travel is “absolutely” prohibited in and out of Metro Manila.

“Gaya ng inannounce kanina domestic sea, and domestic air, and land travel to and from Metro Manila, ipagbabawal na beginning on March 15, 12:01,” he stated.

The inter-agency task force is scheduled to have a meeting on Friday, March 13 in order to discuss further the protocols of the said order.


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