President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a travel ban to and from Metro Manila starting from March 15 to April 14 as part of the government’s action to control the spread of COVID-19.
Duterte announced the order during a televised address on Thursday night.
“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.
The President said that the magnitude of the problem being faced by the country is “very, very clear”.
Despite his order, the President also urged the people not to think too much on how the restrictions are going to change their lifestyle.
“Government is doing everything to make it at least controllable,” he said.
He also ordered the people to avoid the crowd, and he also prohibited mass gathering.
“Ayaw kong masita kayo ng pulis at military,” the President said.
While the President doesn’t his order, the President explained that the order is necessary.
“Ayaw naming gamitin yan. But there is a lockdown. It’s a matter of defending you from COVID-19,” the President said.
Duterte then ordered the Barangay Captains as the person of authority during the travel ban, saying that disobeying them would be equivalent to defying the cops.
He warned the Barangay Captains to do their job or else they’re going to face charges.
“I do not have enough policemen and soldiers to cover every inch of the country. Ang meron ako, barangay captains. They are bound by the rules written here,” he said.
The President also clarified that the travel restrictions to, from Metro Manila is not martial law.
“Hindi ito martial law. It’s not even something extraordinary. Walang iba except to fight the virus and to exact compliance. Mas mabuting maniwala kayo,” he said.
“Wag kayong matakot sa sundalo. Sundalo ninyo ‘yan. Ang AFP is there to serve you. ‘Wag kayong matakot,” he added.
There are around 12.8 million people living in Metro Manila that could be affected by the travel ban, the people from other provinces traveling to the National Capital Region to work is not yet included.