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This Week in Metro Manila (May 22 to 28, 2021)

Pasay City modifies GCQ rules, Makati resumes number coding scheme, and more travel updates this week!

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | May 22, 2021
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Metro Manila, COVID-19, health protocols, safety protocols, lockdown news, health articles, health news, travel updates, health news articles

As May ends, local government units (LGUs) adjusted and modified quarantine measures and traffic rules due to COVID-19 pandemic. In Pasay City, the LGU changed the existing general community quarantine rules to accommodate residents. In terms of traffic, Makati City resumes number coding in the city with only a few exceptions. In Manila, tourists are now welcome to visit Fort Santiago as it reopened to the public.

When it comes to shopping, SM Megamall secured a safety seal that guarantees that the mall follows all the safety protocols against COVID-19. The Department of Health (DOH) also clarifies that vaccinated individuals are still required to wear face masks. DOH also stated that AstraZeneca vaccines are safe for smokers and people who use contraceptives.

Lockdown News

Pasay City modifies GCQ rules

The Pasay City government modified the existing GCQ rules last May 15. Based on the ordinance, several rules were maintained, such as the curfew hours at 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM; the market schedule will also be the same for 201 barangays. In addition, mass gatherings still prohibit in outside residences, and face masks and face shields are still mandatory [1].

Essential gatherings will be allowed for government services, humanitarian services, and health services that appropriate government agencies have approved. These events require standard health protocols. In terms of religious gatherings, venues should only operate at 30% capacity. Meanwhile, malls will only be allowed at 50% capacity for non-leisure facilities. As for hotels, only those accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) permits to operate. Business establishments that are allowed under GCQ should also follow the minimum safety protocols.

Personal care services, outdoor games, and non-contact sports establishments are allowed to operate at 30% capacity. Restaurants, fast-food chains, and cafes with indoor dining services can operate at 20% capacity. Authorized liquor sellers can distribute alcoholic beverages from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, but public consumption of liquors is still prohibited. Villages should cooperate with the city government for road closures and control points.

Traffic News

Makati resumes number coding scheme

Makati City resumed the number coding scheme last May 15. The system will still follow the standard set by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) with few exceptions [2].

Makati City’s coding scheme exempts vehicles with two or more passengers and the following vehicles:

• Firetrucks, ambulances, accredited tow trucks, motorcycles, military vehicles, and police patrols are on official functions.
• Official media vehicles with marking, government vehicles with government plates for official use, and diplomatic vehicles with diplomatic plates.
• Medical frontliners or practitioners use vehicles under emergency circumstances.
• Senior Citizen Blu Card holders drive vehicles.

Travel Updates

Fort Santiago and Baluarte de Santiago reopen to tourists.

Fort Santiago in Intramuros reopened to tourists last May 17 at only 30% capacity per the required protocols set by the IATF. Due to the protocols, Fort Santiago can only accommodate 200 visitors, and only 100 people can visit Baluarte de Santiago. Visitors should also be between 18 to 65 years old [3]. As for the entrance fee, cashless transactions are prefer, but people can still pay in cash. The entrance fee is PhP70 for adults and PhP50 for students, PWDs, and seniors.

The LGU reopened the two tourist spots to let tourists experience world-class attractions recognized by world tourism awards. Fort Santiago is open daily from 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM; Baluarte de San Diego is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Shopping News

SM Megamall secured a safety seal from the national inter-agency task force.

SM Megamall secured a safety seal from the Mandaluyong LGU, making it the first in the area recognized by the COVID-19 task force. The safety seal only gives to establishments and buildings compliant with the government’s safety protocols and minimum health standards [4].

Health News

DOH: Vaccinated people still need to wear a mask

The Department of Health (DOH) clarified that individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are still required to wear a face mask. Last May 15, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that there’s not enough evidence to suggest that it would be safe for vaccinated individuals to remove their face masks [5].

As of writing, experts know that the vaccinated persons can still be infected and transmit COVID-19 to others. DOH also stated that the Philippines should not compare United States’ face mask mandates since the latter already inoculated many of its population.

AstraZeneca is safe for contraception users and smokers.

DOH also reassures the public that AstraZeneca is safe for smokers and users of contraceptives. After a social media post circulated warning individuals against blood clotting allegedly caused by the vaccine, DOH Undersecretary Vergeire debunks the post by saying that no evidence links contraceptives and smokers to the vaccine [6].

Vergeire furthers that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Philippine Society of Hematology reported no predictors for blood clotting disorders due to the first dose of the vaccine. Due to this, adverse side effects are primarily due to an autoimmune mechanism. Blood clotting is also a normal side-effect of other medications like birth control pills; it is also a common occurrence for smokers.

DOH also noted that blood clotting has not happened in the Philippines compared to other countries so far.

Visit Yoorekka for more guidelines in Metro Manila and COVID-19 updates.

All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. While we are making 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. Hence, 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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