Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año clarified that people residing in other provinces who are working or doing business in Metro Manila are going to be allowed to travel inside and outside the National Capital Region.
In an interview with DZMM, Año clarified that the order being imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte is not a “total lockdown”.
“We are just trying to restrict movements going in and going out of Metro Manila, kasi ayaw na namin na mag spread itong virus,” Año said.
According to the Secretary, the strategy of the government is to set checkpoints in the boundaries of Metro Manila.
He announced that workers living in different provinces are still allowed to work in the nation’s capital.
Año said that the workers are still allowed to present their IDs to the authorities to prove that they’re really working in Metro Manila.
“Lilinawin ko lang kasama dito sa kautusan na papayagan yung mga nagta-trabaho na pumasok at provided lang na mayroon silang I.D, mayroon silang pagpapatunay na ang work nila ay dito sa Manila,” he said.
He explained that they allow the workers to still go inside and outside of Manila because the government is also considering their daily needs.
However, if it’s possible, Año said that workers should do work-from-home to avoid being exposed to the crowded environment.
To avoid defeating the purpose of the lockdown, the Department of Transporation (DOTr) will impose measures to enhance social distancing inside the buses and other public transportations.
They’re also allowed provincial buses to go inside and outside Metro Manila as long as the passengers of the said vehicle are working in NCR.
However, people who are going to travel to Metro Manila via domestic flights are still restricted even if they have work or business in the nation’s capital.
Año also shared information from the World Health Organization that if the government is not going to do enough actions against COVID-19, there are an estimated 75,000 Filipinos that are possible to be affected by the virus.
“Ayaw na nating umabot sa ganoong situation na parang nangyari sa Italy, so sabi nila it’s a bitter pill to swallow,” he said.
On Thursday, President Duterte ordered the partial lockdown of Metro Manila.
“Land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended after beginning March 15, 2020, and to end on April 14, 2020, alas dose subject to the daily review of the Inter-Agency Task Force,” President Rodrigo Duterte said.