Nograles, Año tell different tunes on Metro Manila travel restrictions | Inquirer News

Nograles, Año tell different tunes on Metro Manila travel restrictions

/ 12:19 AM March 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Can workers living in provinces still travel in and out of Metro Manila once the “community quarantine” in the nation’s capital region takes effect? Even Cabinet members seem to be confused.

In an interview with radio station DZBB, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said workers can no longer enter and exit Metro Manila once the President Rodrigo Duterte-approved recommendation of suspending land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from the nation’s capital is in order.


The move, which was among the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases that was approved by Duterte on Thursday, will be in place from March 15 until April 14.

Duterte approved the recommendation amid the threat posed by the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.


“Ganyan ang mangyayari kasi we are trying to avoid na yung mula sa Metro Manila ay pupunta sa mga kalapit na region (That’s what will happen because we are trying to avoid that those from Metro Manila will go to other regions),” Nograles said.

“So magf-flexi-work arrangement na lang po kumbaga ang nire-recommend natin para sa mga companies sa kanilang mga empleyado or yung telecommuting or tele-work arrangement ang maaaring mangyari doon sa mga ganyan ang arrangement,” he added.

(We are recommending to companies to employ flexible work arrangements for their employees or telecommuting or telework arrangement.)

But Interior Secretary Eduardo Año seemed to be singing a different tune when he told another radio station a different interpretation of the order.

Año said that workers living in the provinces can still come in and out of Metro Manila, provided that they present a proof that they are employed within the nation’s capital region.

“Lilinawin ko lang sa mga nagt-trabaho [na nakatira sa labas Metro Manila], kasama dito sa kautusan na papayagan ‘yung mga nagt-trabaho na pumasok provided na mayroon silang ID, mayroon silang magpapatunay na talagang ang work nila ay dito sa Manila,” Año said in an interview with radio station DZMM.

(I would like to clarify that in the order, those living outside Metro Manila will be allowed to enter provided that they have an ID or a proof that they are really working here.)


“Gagayahin sana natin ‘yung ibang bansa na China nagpapa-lockdown pero syempre we also have to consider yung mga nagt-trabaho na kababayan natin lalo na ‘yung mga ordinaryong nagtrabaho,” the interior secretary added.

(We would like to recreate what they did in other countries that imposed a lockdown like China but of course we also have to consider our ordinary workers.)

Like Nograles, Año still urged those living outside Metro Manila but are employed in the region to still utilize technology and work from home instead.

Año likewise asked private companies to employ flexible schedules for affected workers.

“Hindi naman ito sinasabing lockdown or total lockdown (We are not saying lockdown or total lockdown), we’re just restricting movement especially going in, coming in and going out of Metro Manila kasi unang-una ayaw na natin mag-spread itong virus (because number one, we do not want the virus to spread) from Manila going outside of Metro Manila,” Año said.

Currently, there are 52 cases of COVID-19 in the country.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

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