COVID-19 quarantine life: Banks, groceries, utilities assure public of services


Posted at Mar 16 2020 01:59 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2020 02:07 PM

COVID-19 quarantine life: Banks, groceries, utilities assure public of services 1
EDSA is shown near empty on Sunday, March 15, 2020, the first day of a Metro Manila community quarantine to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Metro Manila entered its second full day of quarantine to arrest the spread of COVID-19. Until April 14, passenger travel will be restricted, malls are shut and social distancing will be the norm in public places and transport.

Companies have sought to reassure the public of continued services. Here are their statements:


SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls, Vistamalls, Araneta City and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls in Metro Manila will be closed during the quarantine period.

However, groceries and pharmacies in shopping malls will remain open. Queues at the cash registers have been marked to ensure the required social distance of 1-meter or 3-feet radius.


The LRT and MRT will continue operations, observing social distancing in queues and in trains. Jeeps and buses will be half-filled. 

Motor-taxi hailing firms Angkas and JoyRide temporarily suspended operations. Grab suspended its carpool service GrabShare while GrabCar and GrabFood services continue but with strict social distancing guidelines.

Personal use of motorcycles is allowed provided that there are no backrides, the Department of Transportation said Monday.


BDO Unibank, the country's largest lender told the stock exchange that it would be "business as usual" with branches still open. Similar assurances were issued by RCBC, Security Bank and Unionbank.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno encouraged the use of online payments to lessen face-to-face exposure during the quarantine period. 


The Department of Energy said it asked distribution utilities to forego maintenance works during the quarantine period.

Maynilad said it could manage water supply in Metro Manila's west zone during the quarantine. Manila Water, responsible for supply in the east zone, said it implemented measures for continued service to customers. 


The Philippines largest drugstore chain, Mercury Drug said all branches will stay open some on adjusted hours. Disinfection of its branches and social distancing will be implemented to protect consumers, it said.