Metro Manila lockdown can be lifted any time after declaration

MANILA, Philippines – The impending precautionary lockdown of Metro Manila against the spread of the novel coronavirus can be lifted anytime if the Duterte government sees it fit, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Friday, March 13. It can also be extended if needed.

"The suspension of domestic travel will be reviewed on a daily basis, and may be lifted earlier if the situation allows it, or extended further if the situation requires it," Nograles said during a briefing in Malacañang.

Why does this matter? President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday night that the lockdown will last from March 15 to April 14, basing on the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the coronavirus outbreak.

The evaluation will be based on the spread and containment of the coronavirus in the region of more than 12 million people.

The exceptions: According to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, workers from the provinces will be allowed to come in and out of Metro Manila as long as they present their IDs or proof of working in the National Capital Region.

Other exceptions to the lockdown will be fleshed out, Nograles said, during the meeting of the IATF after the Palace briefing. President Duterte earlier said he will issue an executive order to provide an enforcible basis for the IATF's resolution. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.