It's the First Workday Under MECQ and the Roads Are Terrifying

Back to the daily grind (and daily traffic), it seems.

( A modified enhanced community quarantine was enforced in the National Capital Region starting on May 16. And while that caused traffic congestion over the weekend with the reopening of malls, it looks like more cars are back on the road today, May 18, as more people return to work. The large volume of vehicles combined with the presence of checkpoints leading to the capital are enough to remind you of the things you probably hate about commuting in, and to and from, the city.

Traffic buildup at Welcome Rotonda as cars cross from Quezon City to Manila.
PHOTO BY Yot Henson - Morales

Under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), public transportation (except for tricycles in some areas) is still suspended but employers are encouraged to provide shuttle services for their workers. “This will have to be settled within the company, between the employer and employee, to find ways that are workable. [It] could be near-site accommodations, carpooling, shuttling, vehicle plans, etc. Usually, they both find ways,” Department of Trade secretary Ramon Lopez said in an online briefing on May 16.


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Heavy traffic is seen at the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway in Alabang as more vehicles try to enter Metro Manila.

Private cars cause traffic congestion at the soutbound lane of the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak.


Heading to Metro Manila via Cavite Expressway is just as bad.

Cars pile up at the border of Antipolo and Marikina along Marcos Highway.

What it's like to enter Metro Manila under MECQ.


But in case this isn't possible, there’s no stopping employees from using their own cars, provided that there are only two persons per row. People living in areas under general community quarantine can cross to Metro Manila as long as they show proof that they work in the capital (and vice-versa). Self-employed individuals can also make their own IDs to show at checkpoints. The number coding scheme remains suspended.

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