Metro Manila Back Under GCQ Tomorrow; Here's What to Expect

Will public transportation be available? Who can go out? And more.

PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano

( Just before midnight on August 17, President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the nation for another update on quarantine measures in the Philippines. Metro Manila and some provinces will shift back to general community quarantine starting on August 19, while the rest of the country will have a modified general community quarantine status.


These places are under general community quarantine (GCQ) from August 19 to 31:

  • Metro Manila
  • Bulacan
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Batangas
  • Quezon
  • Iloilo City, Iloilo
  • Cebu City, Cebu
  • Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
  • Talisay City, Cebu
  • Minglanilla, Cebu
  • Consolacion, Cebu

With the GCQ imposed in these provinces, the following measures are to be observed based on IATF's omnibus guidelines released on May 15:

Who can go out?

  • Individuals above 21 years old but below 60 years old
  • Those with no immunodeficiency, comorbodies, and other health risks
  • Individuals who need to "obtain essential goods and services" and those who need to work in permitted industries and offices
  • Unauthorized, non-work essential, or entertainment-related mass gatherings (e.g. movie screenings, concerts, and sports events) are prohibited
  • Religious gatherings are allowed for 10 persons or less
  • Individual outdoor exercises, such as walking, jogging, running, and biking, are allowed within GCQ areas

Will public transportation be operational?

  • All public transportation services will be operational at reduced capacity with the implementation of a strict one-meter distance between passengers
  • Wearing of both face masks and face shields is required for all passengers
  • MRT-3 will resume operations on August 19. First trips from North Avenue and Taft Avenue leave at 5:30 a.m., while last trip leaves North Avenue at 9:10 p.m. and Taft Avenue at 10:11 p.m.
  • LRT-1 wil be on regular train service hours from Monday to Friday, which is from 4:30 a.m. (for both routes) to 10 p.m. for last train from Baclaran and to 10:15 p.m. for last train from Roosevelt. Schedule for weekends and holidays start at 4:30 a.m. (for both routes) to 9:30 p.m. for last train from Baclaran and to 9:45 p.m. for last train from Roosevelt.
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Also read: Where to Buy Face Shields in Manila

Which industries and offices are allowed to open?

  • Work in all government offices may be at full operational capacity as long as point-to-point transport services are provided to employees
  • Category I industries are allowed at full operational capacity:
    • power, energy, water, and other utilies
    • agriculture, fishery, and forestry industries
    • food manufacturing and food supply chain businesses
    • food retail establishments, such as supermarkets and grocery stores
    • food delivery services
    • health-related establishments
    • logistics sector
    • information technology and telecommunication companies
    • media
  • Category II industries are allowed between 50% to 100% capacity:
    • mining and other manufacturing
    • electric commerce companies
    • delivery, repair, and maintenance for housing and office services
  • Category III industries are allowed at 50% capacity only:
    • financial services
    • legal, accounting, auditing services
    • professional, scientific, technical, and other non-leisure services
    • non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments
  • Diplomatic missions and international organizations may operate at 50% capacity
  • All public and private construction projects can resume
  • Hotels or similar establishments are not allowed to operate, except those accommodating guests with existing long-term bookings, stranded Filipinos or foreign nationals, repratriated OFWs, non-OFWs who need to undergo quarantine, and healthcare workers and employees from exempted establishments.
  • Amusement, gaming, fitness, kids entertainment, and tourism-related establishments cannot operate

Can people go to malls?

  • Limited operations in malls and shopping centers shall be allowed
  • Leisure establishments and services shall continue to be closed
  • Those below 21 years old and above 60 years old may not enter malls and shopping centers, except when they need to get essential goods or when they work in establishmens inside the malls

Can students go back to school?

  • The Department of Education on August 14 announced that school year 2020 to 2021 starts on October 5, but schools nationwide will be adopting "modular" distance learning.
  • Colleges and universities are not required to delay the opening of their academic year
  • Private schools are allowed to start ahead of the October 5 opening for public schools

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