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Phone : +632 86953262
Email: mfl@mflegal.com.ph
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MFBR lawyers and associates care!

In light of the constantly changing social and economic landscape in the world due to COVID-19, everyone at Mallari Fiel Brillante Ronquillo has taken steps to make good our steadfast commitment to serve our clients and our communities.

To this end, we designed a new business model incorporating the traditional “brick and mortar” and “virtual” law offices. This new model is to achieve the continuity of rendering our legal and business consultancy services to clients and friends, and the immediate implementation of our crisis management and business transformation activities.

Thus, we’re glad to announce that for every fortnight, half of our team will be physically present at our offices from Monday thru Friday, 8:00am to 3:00pm. Clients and our friends can reach us through our office phones and online platforms (website, emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, Zoom, etc.). And to ensure the health and safety of our staff, they have the option to be housed in the Firm’s private residence or shuttled back and forth using the company’s private vehicle. Safety protocols are also observed at our offices.

Finally, our team has prepared a series of materials around the impact of COVID-19 and related considerations. Please take time to view our sample articles and research published in our website. A complete listing and discussion of these articles are available in our newsletter to be distributed to our esteemed clients.

Should you have questions, please reach out to our Office Manager, Argie Macawile, at +632 86953395, +63977 8502357; or email our Managing Partner, Atty. Rob Mallari, at mfl@mflegal.com.ph and rpmallari@mflegal.com.ph.

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Additional Guidelines and Exemptions from Coverage of Enhanced Community Quarantine under IATF Resolution No. 14 (PART II)

By: Atty. Jonathan R. De Guzman

This is in continuation of the article regarding the changes made to the previous Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infection Diseases (IATF-EID) resolutions. If you haven’t read the previous article, click this “Revisions in the Inter Agency Task Force Resolution No. 14 (PART I)” .

This article focuses on the additional guidelines and exemptions of certain entities or individuals not covered by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

IATF Resolution No. 14 provided for additional personalities or entities that does not fall under the restrictions as implemented by the Enhanced Community Quarantine, as follows:

“Further, pursuant to the authority granted to the IATF under the Memorandum dated 16 March 2020 issued by the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES), the following amendments or modifications to the existing guidelines on Enhanced Community Quarantine are hereby adopted:

“1. Providing exemptions from the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine to the following persons but with strict compliance to skeleton workforce arrangement and strict social distancing:


a. Members of Congress and their Chiefs of Staff;

b. Secretaries, Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and Bureau Directors of the different government agencies under the Executive Branch;

c. Ombudsman and their Deputy Ombudsmen;

d. Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, as well as their respective skeleton-workforce;

e. Judges of Regional, Metropolitan, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts and Prosecutors, as well as their respective skeleton-workforce;

f. Local Chief Executives;

The close-in staff necessary to or connected to the movement of the above-enumerated are likewise granted the exemption.

g. At most three (3) personnel operating cargo vehicles and delivery service vehicles for food, drinking water, medicine, and other basic necessities, with or without load;

h. Employees of:

1. Manufacturing and Processing Plants of Basic Food Products, Essential Products, Medicine and Medical Supplies:

a. All Food

b. Essential and Hygiene Products

i. Soap and detergents

ii. Diapers, feminine hygiene products, tissue, wipes/and toilet papers

iii. Disinfectants

c. Medicines and Vitamins

d. Medical Products, such as:

i. PPEs

ii. Masks, gloves

iii. Others

2. Retail Establishments (Groceries, Supermarkets, Hypermarkets, Convenience Stores, Public Markets, Pharmacies and Drug Stores)

3. Logistics Service Providers (Cargo Handling, Warehousing, Trucking, Freight Forwarding, and Shipping Line)

4. Hospitals and Medical Clinics

5. Food Preparations and Water Refilling Stations

6. Delivery Services, whether in-house or outsourced, Transporting only Food, Water, Medicine or other Basic Necessities

7. Banks and Capital Markets, per Section 5 of IATF Resolution No. 13 dated March 17, 2020

8. Power, Energy, Water, IT and Telecommunications Supplies and Facilities, Waste Disposal Services

9. Export and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Companies.

10. Airline and aircraft maintenance employees, including pilot and crew, and ship captain and crew.

11. Media establishments; Provided, that the number of exempted employees be limited to but fifty (50%) percent of their total permanent staff complement as registered under the DOLE; Provided further, that such maximum limit includes reporters and other field employees as may be accredited by the PCOO;

12. Hotels that have bookings as of 17 March 2020;

13. Energy companies and their third-party contractors, including such employees involved in electric transmission and distribution, electric power plant and line maintenance, as well as those involved in exploration, operations, trading and delivery of coal, oil or any kind of fuel used to produce electricity; and

14. Under “Telecommunication utilities”, the Telecommunications-related work force, i.e., Telecommunications companies (TelCos), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Cable TV Providers (CATV), including those who perform indirect services such as the security, technical, sales and other support personnel, as well as employees of their third-party contractors doing sales, installation, maintenance and repair works.

i. Pastors, priests, imams or such other religious ministers whose movement shall be related to the conduct of necrological or funeral rites; and

j. Heads of Mission or designated Foreign Mission Representatives, including a limited number of their personnel or staff.

2. No further exemptions shall be granted by 23 March 2020.”

If you fall under these categories, you are considered exempted from restrictions of the Enhanced Community Quarantine subject to the strict guidelines of the Inter Agency Task Force.

However, before any individual or entity is considered not covered by the restrictions of the ECQ, the enumerated individuals or entities in IATF Resolution No. 14 must comply with additional guidelines and qualifications as follows:

A. Unhampered delivery of all types of cargo inbound and outbound Metro Manila.

“To avert any threat of shortage of basic food, essential hygienic products and medical products, the IATF reaffirms its earlier resolution to ensure the unimpeded movement of all types of cargo (food and non-food), and allow the passage of personnel of business establishments permitted to operate during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, subject to the presentation of proof of employment, and residence.

The policy on the unhampered flow of cargoes is a nationwide policy that must be strictly followed in all LGUs nationwide, following the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on 19 March 2020.

This means that all types of cargoes going in and out of Metro Manila that are not covered by the restrictions of ECQ (food and essential non-food products) will be allowed regardless of the type of cargo to ensure the continuous flow of food and medical supplies for the duration of the ECQ. In addition to the unhampered delivery cargo, the employees of those establishments allowed to operate during ECQ will be allowed to enter and leave Metro Manila subject to the presentation of proof of employment and proof of residence of the affected employees going in and out of Metro Manila. This must be read in conjunction with the limit on the number of operators of cargoes going in and out of Metro Manila to three (3) personnel at the most.

B. Deadline for BPO and Export Oriented Enterprises to set up alternate work arrangements.

“The deadline given to BPOs and export oriented establishments (including those inside economic zones), to prepare for their respective alternative work arrangements, such as the setting of the temporary accommodations for their workers, the need to shuttle employees, the transfer of necessary equipment to facilitate work from home arrangements, shall be extended until 11:59 PM of 22 March.”

Considering that BPOs and Export Oriented Enterprises are not covered by restrictions of the ECQ, the entities or individuals mentioned above were given the opportunity to set up alternate work arrangements to ensure continuing services are being rendered by the BPOs.

C.Exemption granted to employees of media companies.

“Exemptions to the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine previously granted to employees of media establishments are hereby extended until 26 March 2020; Provided, that the number of exempted employees shall be limited to fifty (50%) percent of their total permanent staff complement as registered under the Department of Labor and Employment; Provided further, that such maximum limit includes reporters and other field employees as may be accredited by the PCOO; Provided further, that such maximum will be subject to regular assessment and review by the IATF.”

Employees of media companies are exempted from the restrictions of ECQ provided that:

a. The number of employees exempted in a company must not exceed 50% of the total staff as registered in DOLE.

b. The total staff exempted must include the reporters, field employees accredited by the PCOO.

The maximum exempted employees will be subject to the regular assessment and review by the IATF depending on the severity of the condition within Metro Manila.

D. Deadline for the issuance of IATF Accredited IDs.

“The period for the issuance of the IATF Accredited IDs is hereby extended until 26 March 2020. Accordingly, holders of bona fide IDs issued by exempted establishments or offices shall continue to be honored by law enforcement agencies so as to exempt the bearers thereof from the strict home quarantine requirements.”

All individuals or entities not covered by the restrictions of ECQ will be given IATF Accredited IDs to avoid incurring any delay for any incoming and outgoing travels to and from Metro Manila.

E. Coordination with the DOH by the local chief executives for the acquisition and use of test kits under their jurisdiction.

“All LGUs must first coordinate with DOH prior to acquiring, purchasing or utilizing testing kits within their respective territorial jurisdictions.”

Unless you fall under the exemptions from the restrictions of Enhanced Community Quarantine and has complied with all the guidelines and requirements for exemption, you will be asked to return to home or be prohibited to travel to and from Metro Manila.

For queries, updates and other legal concerns, you may contact us from Mondays to Fridays, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, through the following:

Email: mfl@mflegal.com.ph;
Website: http://mfbr.com.ph;
Facebook page: http://mfbr.com.ph/

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