What Metro Manila Looks Like Under Community Quarantine
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, March 19, 2020 1:35pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
Since March 16, President Rodrigo Duterte has put Luzon under the enhanced community quarantine. This means mass transportation is suspended, establishments are closed (except for those that provide essential needs), and employees are forced to go on leave or work from home.
With this set up, the fact-paced Metro Manila life slowed down since only health workers, delivery personnel, cashiers, and other people who provide essential needs are on the streets. You can barely see people walking speedily on the pavement.
Here’s what Metro Manila looks like now:
There are checkpoints in every entrance and exit
Since we are under quarantine, there are checkpoints whenever you enter and exit the boundaries of Metro Manila and other provinces or towns. Military personnel are assigned at the boundaries, checking people of their temperatures and asking for identification so they can pass by the borders.
There’s still heavy traffic
Even though there is no more mass transportation available, congestion still happens due to the strict checkpoints at every border. Those who travel can still experience heavy traffic before entering the Balintawak Toll Plaza Northbound as seen in Inquirer’s post.
The homeless are still homeless
We are advised to stay at home and not go out if not necessary, but some people have nowhere to go as the streets are their homes. They sleep on the pavement with little, close to none, protection to combat COVID-19.
Frontliners have a hard time finding a ride. Most of the time, they don’t find one at all.
Healthcare workers still need to be on duty but going to the hospitals is a struggle since there is no transportation available. Some frontliners have to walk long distances. Thankfully, the Office of the Vice President provided a free shuttle service for them from certain points to different hospitals in Metro Manila.
Makati doesn’t look like the busy business district we know.
Since most establishments are closed, Makati is now a quiet little city with almost no people around. Until the enhanced community lockdown is lifted, the business district will remain this way.
COVID-19 has affected the livelihoods and lives of many Filipinos. We can only hope that this pandemic will end soon and people can return to their normal routine--of earning a living for their families with no fear or panic.