LUZON UNDER ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE
Due to the increasing case of the coronavirus disease in the Philippines, most of which came from parts of Luzon, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Luzon under an Enhanced Community Quarantine effective on 17 March 2020 until 12:00 a.m. of 13 April 2020.
Here’s what to expect during Enhanced Community Quarantine, as provided under the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary:
- Classes and all school activities in all levels are suspended until 14 April 2020.
- Mass gatherings are prohibited.
- A strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households.
In this scenario, movement will be limited to basic necessities and there will be heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce the quarantine procedures. Further, provision of food and essential health services is regulated.
- A work from home arrangement shall be implemented in the Executive Branch, except the PNP, AFP, PCG, and health and emergency frontline services, border control and other critical services, which shall ensure a skeletal work force.
- Only those private establishments providing basic necessities and such activities related to food and medicine production shall be open.
- Business Processing Outsourcing (BPOs) establishments and export-oriented industries may remain operational provided that these companies provide temporary accommodations to their staff and observe social distancing.
- Media personnel may be allowed to travel within the quarantine area, provided that they are duly accredited by the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
- Mass public transport facilities are suspended.
- Land, air and sea travel is restricted.
However, the following are allowed to travel:
- Outbound passengers intending to depart the Philippines from any of the international airports in Luzon but only for a period of seventy-two (72) hours from 12:00 a.m. of 17 March 2020;
- Inbound international passengers, in transit upon effectivity of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, shall be allowed entry, subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF);
- All inbound Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, if any, holders of Permanent Resident Visa, and holders of 9(e) Diplomat Visas shall be allowed entry, subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF);
- Cargoes within, to, and from the entire Luzon; and
- Uniformed personnel for official business, especially those transporting medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to COVID-19, and other humanitarian assistance.
Kindly note that failure to abide by the aforementioned guidelines shall be subjected to appropriate action, both criminal and administrative, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
As per Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, violators of the Enhanced Community Quarantine may be arrested and penalized under Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person. Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code imposes the penalty of arresto mayor or imprisonment of up to six (6) months and a fine not exceeding Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500.00). However, for purposes of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the fine shall not exceed One Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 100,000.00)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra further stated that the offender may also be charged under Republic Act No. 11332, otherwise known as the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Health Events of Public Health Concern Act”.
Section 10 of Republic Act No. 11332 provides the penalty of imprisonment of not less than one (1) month but not more than six (6) months or a fine in the amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos (Php 20,000.00) but not exceeding Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php 50,000.00) or both.
In support of President Duterte’s declaration, Mallari Fiel Brillante Ronquillo is making the decisive action to protect the health and wellness of its lawyers and staff, as well as its clients and stakeholders, by instituting telecommuting arrangements. We apologize for this unavoidable change of work arrangements. Please know that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that you can connect with us remotely as we navigate this uncertain situation together. We are available to answer your legal concerns from Mondays to Fridays, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, through our email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and our website at http://mfbr.com.ph.