8PM to 5AM curfew imposed for Metro Manila starting March 15

Earlier today, March 14, 2020, the Metro Manila Council of mayors (MMC) unanimously approved a resolution to impose a metro-wide curfew in the National Capital Region as a measure to impede the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Under the measure, authorities will impose an 8 PM to 5 AM curfew on city streets with certain exemptions. Starting on March 15, citizens will be asked to refrain from leisure activities and to stay at home. “Violators will not be arrested but will be asked by the authorities to go home if they are out on non-important matters,” said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager, Jojo Garcia.

Curfew with certain exemptions

The authorities clarified that, though there will be a metro-wide curfew, they will be still allowed to go out provided that they are going to work, getting groceries, food or medicines, or if there is an emergency. That being said, leisurely rides around or out of the metro, will be forbidden by the authorities.

The Department of Interior and Local Government, through its Secretary, Eduardo Año, stressed the goal of all these restrictions is public health. “The bottom line is people are advised to stay home. Kung wala kang gagawin stay home (If you have nothing important to do, stay home).”

Authorities also urged business establishments where people usually gather like shopping malls, cinemas, and the like to temporarily close down to limit the movement of the people during the quarantine period. Banks, groceries, pharmacies, including restaurants with delivery services and other essential establishments are the only ones allowed to operate.