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This Week in Central Luzon (May 9 to 15, 2020)

Some areas in Central Luzon are still under the ECQ.

By: Antonette Louise Guiao | May 09, 2020
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Central Luzon, COVID-19, pandemic, Quarantine Updates, Health News, Traffic News

Majority of Filipinos have been cooped up at home for more than a month now in order to help flatten the curve. While low to moderate-risk areas are now placed under general community quarantine, high-risk areas or places with high COVID-19 cases are still under the enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the virus. In Central Luzon, Pampanga and Zambales are some of the provinces still under ECQ, and their authorities have introduced various initiatives such as food deliveries and mental health hotlines to keep people from leaving their homes.

Quarantine Updates

Pampanga and Zambales under extended ECQ

Pampanga and Zambales are included in the areas in Central Luzon under extended enhanced community quarantine. This means that these places are considered high-risk or are continuously reporting high cases of COVID-19. ECQ guidelines will still be followed, including strict social distancing and curfew hours. While Zambales is currently under extended ECQ, its status is still under observation and the quarantine in the area may or may not be lifted. [1]

Quarantine rules in Subic Bay Freeport Zone

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority released a notice to all the residents, employees, and establishments of Subic Bay Freeport Zone last April 15, 2020. In the notice, SBMA strictly mandated establishments to get both an individual’s SBMA Quarantine Pass and SBMA I.D. as a condition for purchasing any good or service. Any other quarantine pass will not be honored. Exceptions include:

• Employees of locators using a SBMA Business Quarantine Pass to purchase a good or service. In addition to the SBMA Business Quarantine Pass, a company I.D. may be presented in lieu of a SBMA I.D.
• SBMA employees during, or immediately before or after official duty
• Medical personnel of Baypointe Hospital during or immediately before or after their official duty
• In addition to their SBMA Quarantine Pass, SBMA residents who do not have a SBMA ID may present either their SBMA Temporary Pass or any government issued ID which indicates their home address in the Freeport
• Gasoline stations
• Banks
• Purchases of goods to be delivered inside the Freeport

SBMA has distributed quarantine passes to the station heads of all police stations in Subic, Olongapo, Hermosa, and Morong, as well as the area commanders of the PNP Maritime Group, PNP Special Action Force, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Navy. Non-compliance to this rule will result in a penalty. [2&3]

Traffic News

DOTr sets guidelines for areas under GCQ

For areas under general community quarantine, public transportation will be resumed but with reduced capacity to observe social distancing. Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon mentioned the three components dictated in the protocols/guidelines that all public utility vehicles must adhere to: safety, capacity, and coverage or scope.

For safety, all vehicles must be thoroughly disinfected and drivers are required to use face masks and gloves. For capacity, the passenger load of each vehicle must not exceed 50% or half of its capacity (excluding the driver and conductor) to ensure social distancing between passengers. Passengers of UV Express services and taxis should not exceed two passengers per row, except for the driver’s row where only one passenger is allowed. Tricycles must not exceed one passenger in the side-car, and back riding is not allowed. The use of bicycles and other similar modes of transportation are highly encouraged. All drivers, whether of private or public vehicles, who will violate the guidelines will be sanctioned and punished. [4]

Shopping News

Food deliveries open in Subic Bay Freeport Zone

Restaurants in Subic Bay Freeport Zone have opened for deliveries. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma announced the complete list of restaurants and fast food chains in the area accepting delivery, pick-up, take-home, and drive-thru orders, together with their corresponding contact numbers, addresses, and schedules. SNR, Yellowcab, Shakey’s, Romantic Baboy, and Meat Plus Cafe are just some of the stores open. To get the complete list and more information on these restaurants, you may visit SBMA Chairman & Administrator’s Facebook page. [5]

Operational banks in Subic Bay Freeport Zone

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone released a public advisory that gives a complete list of all fully-operating banks in the area. Banks including Bank of the Philippine Islands, Landbank of the Philippines, and Philippine National Bank are open once more, but the SBFZ highly encourages residents to call their bank first to ensure a hassle-free trip. You may visit their Facebook page for the complete list of different banks. [6]

Health News: DOH launches hotline for psychosocial and mental health assistance

The Department of Health Central Luzon Center for Health Development or DOH-CLCHD has just released 24/7 hotlines that may help people in distress amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who needs help may reach out to the following numbers: 0939-329-9749 (Smart), 0926-518-9290 (Globe), and 0956-019-7965 (Globe). The threat of COVID-19 has caused a lot of stress brought about by worry and fear for one’s family and health, which can cause changes in sleeping or eating patterns, worsening of chronic health problems, and an unstable mental health.

Aside from the given hotlines, DOH-CLCHD’sFacebook page “DOH Central Luzon Mental Health Program” can also be accessed for scheduled online counseling. Partnering with guidance counselors, clinical psychologists, and family counselors, the Facebook page seeks to help the distressed to cope up with their stress and anxiety at a time like this. The page will also be posting various “brain-break” tips to help the concerned public take better care of themselves and their mental conditions. [7]

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Central Luzon.

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About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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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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