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This Week in Metro Manila (July 25 to 31, 2020)

See the latest COVID-19 updates in Metro Manila.

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | July 25, 2020
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Metro Manila, COVID-19, Quarantine Updates, Transportation News, Shopping News, Health News

As the month of July ends, the Philippines records over 70,000 COVID-19 cases. Due to the alarming rise of daily confirmed cases, heightened safety measures are enforced in COVID-19 hotspots such as Quezon City and Navotas. Besides the two cities, frequently crowded areas such as the MRT-3 and Agora Public Market also improved their protocols for the safety of customers and their personnel. Read on to see the details of these Metro Manila news.

Quarantine Updates: Warrantless arrest now in effect for quarantine violators in Quezon City

A new memorandum now allows warrantless arrest and apprehension of quarantine violators in Quezon City. QC Mayor Joy Belmonte issued the ordinance due to the surge of COVID-19 in the city. According to the memorandum, officers or citizens can arrest those who are found to violate the quarantine rules of the city. Meanwhile, police officers and barangay officials are required to introduce themselves and read the person’s rights before arresting them [1].

Individuals who committed an offense can be arrested if the officer has probable cause based on personal knowledge of the fact that the person has committed violations. Apprehended violators will not be investigated until they have undergone medical and physical examinations in a hospital and booking procedures at a police station.

Arrested individuals will be placed in temporary detention facilities to avoid congestion in jails. Violators will be fined PhP20,000 to PhP50,000 or imprisonment for not less than a month but not exceeding six months. They can also face both penalties depending on the discretion of the court. Quarantine measures that must be followed in the city include mandatory wearing of face masks, proper social distancing, observance of limited gatherings and curfew hours, and regulation of liquor consumption, sales, and distribution.

Transportation News: MRT-3 heightens safety measures as operations resume

The MRT-3 resumed operation after being shut down due to nearly 300 employees who tested positive for COVID-19. As of July 15, there are a total of 15 trains deployed to ferry passengers. In addition, the buses for the augmentation program were also increased [2].

The management also implemented safety guidelines since they reopened last July 13. All personnel are required to wear full-body PPEs. Passengers are now required to submit health declaration forms for contact tracing. They are also prohibited from talking or answering phone calls inside the trains since droplets from talking can also spread the virus [3]. Fines for violators were not indicated.

IATF bans non-essential overseas travel

Last July 23, the IATF revoked their decision to allow non-essential overseas travels. They previously lifted the non-essential travel ban as long as tourists have travel and health insurance that can cover their rebooking and accommodations for hospitalization or canceled trips [4]. However, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the ban is reimposed because only one insurance company in the Philippines provides the needed travel and health insurance. Those who have confirmed flight bookings as of July 20 are exempted.

Shopping News

Navotas delivery service free of charge from July 20 to 29

The delivery services offered by Navotas City’s “NavoHatid” program will be free of charge from July 20 to 29, Mayor Toby Tiangco announced via Facebook. The delivery program is used by residents for buying and selling within and outside the city.

Mayor Tiangco also mentioned that permits issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for online sellers will not be recognized as valid documents for residents who want to go out of their residences. This comes after the local government received applications from individuals who are not legitimate online sellers. The city is under lockdown from July 16 to 29 [5].

Agora Market reopens after two-week closure

San Juan City’s Agora Market reopened last July 16 after a two-week temporary closure due to the number of COVID-19 positive workers in the area. Only vendors and workers who tested negative and were issued with health clearances were allowed to reopen their businesses [6].

Mayor Francis Zamora advises customers to look for the health clearances or blue ID worn by vendors for their safety. Both vendors and customers are also required to wear face masks and follow proper physical distancing. Zamora also encourages citizens to report offenders to the San Juan Police and Task Force Disiplina. Violators will be fined PhP3,000 for first offense and PhP5,000 or three months imprisonment for second and subsequent offenses.

The market was closed from July 1 to 15 after a male fish vendor tested positive for COVID-19 during a random testing. During the two-week closure, the market was disinfected and 647 market vendors and workers were subjected to swab testing. Twenty-six of the tested individuals tested positive.

Health News: Drive-thru COVID-19 testing center opens in Manila

Manila residents and non-residents can now avail the new free drive-thru COVID-19 rapid testing center in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument near the Manila City Hall. The testing center will be open from Monday to Fridays from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and will cater to residents and non-residents on four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles [7]. Those who will avail the services must present a valid ID. The test results will be sent through text message, and individuals who will test positive will have to undergo a swab test for confirmation.

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Metro Manila.

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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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