This Week News

This Week in Metro Manila (February 27 to March 5, 2021)

Intramuros is now open! For more Metro Manila updates, read on.

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | February 27, 2021
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Manila, pandemic, lockdown, COVID-19, Lockdown, Lockdown News, Traffic News, Travel Updates, Health News

As the anniversary of the lockdown due to the pandemic nears, the Philippines continues to curb the spread of COVID-19 while also slowly reopening the economy and tourism. Localized lockdowns were established in Pasay City as the city records a spike in the number of cases. Meanwhile in Manila, tourists can now visit three spots in Intramuros while following strict protocols. Lastly, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that only Philippine Red Cross laboratories are verified to conduct saliva testing.

Lockdown News

Pasay City barangays put in localized lockdown until March 5

The Pasay City government announced last February 22 that one establishment and 34 barangays are currently in localized lockdowns as the number of COVID-19 cases in the area has increased. The lockdown will last until March 5. The areas under lockdown are the following barangays: 28, 29, 32,40, 57, 58, 66, 68, 71, 76, 81, 95, 98, 100, 107, 109, 118, 122, 132, 135, 136,143, 155, 156, 159, 162, 175, 177, 178, 183, 190, 192, and 201.

During the lockdown, residents in these barangays are prohibited from going out and are required to follow strict protocols set by the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF). During the lockdown, they will also receive food assistance from the local government. Asymptomatic patients were already isolated at the city’s quarantine facilities and will undergo swab testing.

Traffic News

Alabang southbound toll plaza temporarily closed

The southbound part of the Alabang toll plaza is temporarily closed from February 20, 2021 due to the construction of the Skyway Extension Project. According to San Miguel Corporation (SMC) CEO Ramon S. Ang, the closure will be inconvenient but it will be worth it in the future [2].

Motorists are expected to follow alternate routes to avoid traffic. The recommended alternate routes are as follows:

• Those with Class 1 vehicles can use the Alabang Zapote Road and take the Filinvest Exit Toll Plaza.
• Class 1 to 3 vehicles that are bound for Alabang, National Road and Putatan can use the Susana Heights Toll Plaza to get to Susana Heights Avenue. From Susana Heights Avenue, motorists can turn either left or right along the National Road until they reach their destinations.

MMDA has no plans yet to reimplement number coding

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will keep the number coding scheme in Metro Manila suspended, MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos said in a press conference last February 18. Abalos explained that reimplementing the scheme will impact the traffic conditions in Metro Manila, and they plan to keep it suspended until public transportation returns to normal.

Travel Updates

Intramuros now open to tourists

Tourists can now visit three sites in Intramuros since it reopened to the public last February 17. The three sites are Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, and Baluarte de San Diego. However, only those between 15 to 65 are allowed in the tourist spots [4].

As precautions against COVID-19, visitors are also required to observe safety protocols. Each of the sites also implements a maximum capacity; both Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego can only accommodate 100 people at a time while Casa Manila can only accommodate 15.

Visitors are also required to follow the steps below:

• Download the StaySafePH app and create an account. The StaysafePH app is available for download on both iOs and Android devices.
• Use the app to scan the QR code at the entrances of the tourist sites.
• Guests must have their temperature checked and must use the provided hand sanitizer upon entry.
• All persons must also follow the marker guides at the sites to maintain proper social distancing.
• Cash is still accepted at the sites but cashless transactions such as Paymaya and Beep cards are preferred.
• Guests are also required to scan the QR code upon exit.

Health News

Only Philippine Red Cross laboratories allowed to perform saliva testing

The Department of Health (DOH) stated that only Philippine Red Cross (PRC) laboratories are allowed to conduct saliva testing since they are the only facilities that received the department’s validation. DOH also noted that DIY saliva test kits that can be bought in the market are not approved [5].

DOH previously recommended saliva testing as an alternate COVID-19 testing method. Compared to the RT-polymerase chain reaction testings, saliva testings are cheaper, faster, and easier to conduct. Those who want to undergo a saliva test can book a session through PRC’s website (

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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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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