The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today welcomed the decision of all 17 local government units (LGUs) of Metro Manila to set a standardized unified curfew hours from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM starting March 15 calling it “a necessary measure to address the spike of COVID-19 cases.”
The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of the local chief executives of all the LGUs in Metro Manila, adopted Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 21-03 S. 2021 implementing common curfew hours for the whole NCR on March 15-March 31, 2021.
DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the move of Metro Manila LGUs in declaring unified curfew hours is urgently needed for the public to be able to comply with the new regulation. He said that the Department of Health and other health professionals are one in saying that there is an urgent need to regulate the movement of people within and around Metro Manila because of the spike in cases which has reached more than 4,000 daily.
The DILG earlier appealed to Metro Manila LGUs to adopt uniform curfew hours as people live and work in different LGUs and for the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to easily implement the same curfew hours across Metro Manila.
"With the imposition of the common curfew hours plus the other policies currently being implemented in Metro LGUs such as localized/granular lockdowns and the crackdown of violators of minimum public health standards, we hope to see a decline of coronavirus cases in the following weeks; therefore we urge the public to cooperate," he said.
DILG OIC Bernanrdo Florece recently ordered the Philippine National Police to implement a crackdown on quarantine violators, impose a curfew, and intensify the enforcement of minimum public health standards in all barangays.
Apart from the setting common curfew hours, the MMDA resolution likewise imposes granular lockdown, strict implementation of health protocols and standards, and intensified testing, contact tracing, and isolation.
Malaya explained that, as a general rule, workers returning to or going to work are exempted from the unified curfew if they present their company IDs or other proof that they are going to work or returning home from work to police or barangay authorities/checkpoints.
Operators, and/or employees of medical/health care/emergency service, public utility vehicles, food delivery, convenience stores, restaurants, business process outsourcing, wholesale markets and delivery, and other similar or related essential personnel and services are also exempted.
Malaya said that LGUs are the ones who will determine who are exempted from the uniform curfew in Metro Manila, especially the sanctions to be imposed on violators.
“We will have a Metro-wide uniform curfew hours pero ang kapasyahan kung sinu-sino ang maaaring maging exempted ay nasa mga pamahalaang lokal pa rin, maging ang karampatang kaparusahan sa mga mapapatunayang lumabag dito,” he explained.
Malaya cited Mandaluyong City, which has been implementing the 10:00 PM-5:00 AM curfew hours since June 2020, which exempted the delivery of basic necessities like food and medicine; workers assigned on night shifts; and peace and order personnel both in the City and barangay level.
Quezon City likewise committed to imposed more stringent curfew hours “with exemptions for individuals who are still out for purposes of work, or on the way home from work; those dealing with emergencies; or for purposes of air/sea travel as shown by pre-booked tickets”.
Also, on a case to case basis in the city, barangays may request the City Government for authority to impose longer curfew.