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This Week in Metro Manila (April 10 to 16, 2021)

The ECQ was extended in Metro Manila.

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | April 10, 2021
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Metro Manila, COVID-19, quarantine, vaccination, transportation, online shopping, enhanced community quarantine, community quarantine

With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) still in effect due, stricter rules in transportation and travel are implemented in Metro Manila. In terms of shopping, Landbank waived its online fund transfer fees as more consumers are resorting to online shopping during the quarantine. When it comes to health, LGUs are preparing for vaccination sites. The government also cautioned the public against buying COVID-19 medicines from unauthorized sellers.

Lockdown News

ECQ extended until April 11

Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal—collectively known as NCR Plus—are under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until April 11, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque announced last April 3 [1].

Authorities will use the extension for the enforcement of the Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat and Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy, which will be utilized by LGUs in monitoring and isolating cases of COVID-19. Roque cited “door to door” method as part of the PDITR strategy. The NCR Plus area was previously placed under ECQ last March 29 until April 4.

Transportation News

MRT and LRT trains on limited operations

Starting April 5, the MRT-3 and LRT trains have been operating under limited capacity since their personnel are continuously undergoing COVID-19 testing, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr). MRT-3 will only dispatch 10 to 12 trains that have a capacity of 372 passengers per train set [2]. As an alternative, commuters can use the augmented bus service that can be found in North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, GMA Kamuning, Santolan, Ortigas, and Guadalupe.

Meanwhile, LRT-2 will only be deploying five trains. Passengers can ride buses under routes 9 and 10. As for LRT-1, only 17 trains will be dispatched. Affected commuters can take buses under route 17. As for the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the management announced that only 10 to 12 trains will be dispatched.

Travel Updates

DFA consular offices will remain closed during ECQ

The Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) consular offices located in the NCR Plus area will remain closed during the ECQ extension, the DFA announced in an advisory last April 3. The consular offices that will be closed are the ones in Metro Manila, Antipolo, Dasmariñas, Malolos, and San Pablo [3].

Affected passport and authentication applications will be accommodated a week after the ECQ ends. An email will be sent to applicants which will indicate their new appointment schedule. The schedule is subject to change depending on whether the ECQ will be extended. Individuals with appointments are advised to visit for schedule updates.

Shopping News

Landbank waives online fund transfer fees until June

The Landbank of the Philippines extended the waiving of its online fund transfer fees until June 30, 2021. This covers fund transfers made through PESONet, InstaPay, and Landbank’s mobile banking app.

According to Landbank President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo, the extension aims to urge clients to use cashless transactions during the pandemic. Aside from the temporary removal of transaction fees, Landbank of the Philippines also upgraded its features like cardless withdrawal, enhanced user interface, and registration of prepaid cards and Mastercard credit [4].

Health News

Taguig LGU opens more vaccination sites

More vaccination sites will be erected in Taguig City, Mayor Lino Cayetano announced last April 3. Cayetano stated that the new vaccine sites will be in accessible and convenient locations. With safety and speed in mind, all facilities will be manned by trained personnel.

Last Maundy Thursday, a third vaccination site was inaugurated at the RP Cruz Elementary School in New Lower Bicutan. During the same day, almost a thousand senior citizens and persons with comorbidities were vaccinated in all of the city’s three vaccination sites.

Govt warns public against buying COVID-19 medicines from unauthorized sellers

Lawmakers warn the public against buying unregulated COVID-19 medicines from unauthorized sellers. According to Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, there has been an alarming number of non-approved COVID-19 medicines offered in e-commerce and social media sites. He also called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to monitor the distribution of different drugs that are being repurposed as a COVID-19 medicine without any verified proof from experts. An example of this is Lianhua Qingwen, a traditional Chinese medicine [6].

As for Ivermectin, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved its usage as long as it is distributed by authorized drugstores and outlets. Previously, the Dangerous Drugs Board has also delisted it as a dangerous substance; however, a prescription is required for its purchase. In the Philippines, Lianhua is only registered by the FDA as a respiratory illness medicine and not a cure for COVID-19.

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

All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. While we are doing our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable and the situation develops rapidly, so it’s possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.

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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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