The entire Metro Manila is now under "community quarantine," a form of lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The announcement was made by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this evening.
He confirmed the adoption of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases's (IATF-EID) Resolution number 11, effectively placing the entirety of Metro Manila on a limited lockdown to impede the further spread of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
Under the said resolution, starting March 15 at 12 midnight (Sunday, 00:00 HRS), all land, domestic air and sea travel to and from Metro Manila will be restricted until midnight of April 14 or about a month. The President, however, stressed that the restrictions will be subject to constant evaluation from government advisers. Traveling within the metro will remain unimpeded. Residents can rely on the continued operation of our railways LRT-1, 2, and MRT-3, and the PNR.
While we can't say as of this writing if the government will close all or some major roads to and from Metro Manila, we have reason to believe it will be roads along the boarders of the metropolitan area. Expect road blocks or checkpoints on these to set up to monitor the traffic to and from Metro Manila.
In the event of closures, these are the roads that will likely to be under high security:
North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX): Being limited access tollways, these will be the easiest to control by authorities mandated to implement the upcoming Executive Order based on the resolution. Other major highways that might be closed or with limited access may be McArthur Highway/AH-26, Quirino Highway, Molino Road, Daang Hari, Aguinaldo Highway, Manila South Road, Manila East Road, Marikina-Infanta Road (MARILAQUE), Ortigas Extension and Highway 2000.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is preparing to clarify and streamline its methods to implement the travel ban for Metro Manila, possibly expanding to even cover Mega Manila or the Greater Metro Manila area. According to the DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran, the road sector of the DOTr will be meeting today, March 13, with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Health (DOH) to work out the guidelines for the restrictions.
We'll keep you posted on any updats as the situation develops.