MANILA - Some cities in Metro Manila have imposed new curfew hours in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as the capital region continues to log a relatively high number of new infections in the past few weeks.
The country has been logging more than 2,400 fresh cases since March 4, with the daily tally peaking past 3,000 for 4-straight days until March 8.
A bulk of the newly-recorded cases also came from the capital region, home to about a tenth of the country's population.
Such development led analysts to describe the rate of new infections in Metro Manila to be "worse" than last year's, most especially in the wake of detection of COVID-19 variants, some of which have been recorded in the region.
Here are some cities that reintroduced new curfew hours due to rising COVID-19 cases:
SAN JUAN CITY
Starting on March 9, San Juan City brought back curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
In a Facebook post, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said this is in line with his Executive Order (EO) FMZ-072 S. of 2021.
The EO exempts health workers, frontline personnel, law enforcement authorities, city government workers, private workers, and drivers, among others, from the curfew.
The local government of Muntinlupa will strictly implement curfew from 12 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Based on City Ordinance No. 2020-144, medical frontliners and workers, among authorized persons outside of residence, are exempted. They just need to present valid ID cards.
The city government also reminded its constituents that only people aged 18 to 65 are allowed to go out of their homes.
It said there be checkpoints for each barangay.
In a Facebook post, Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan said curfew hours in the city starting Wednesday are from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
The city also reintroduced the use of color-coded quarantine passes in supermarkets and public markets to control the number of people going out of their households.
Starting also on Wednesday, Paranaque City reimposed curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., warning that violators would be apprehended.
Based on the city's updated advisory, people aged 15 below and over 65 years old will still not be allowed to go out of their homes, while sari-sari stores and public markets will only be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. up to 6 p.m.
Other cities, meanwhile, have yet to announce new curfew hours or will maintain their health restrictions as of this story's writing.
In a statement earlier in the day, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said it is time for Metro Manila's 17 mayors to adopt uniform curfew hours to "make it easier for the public to comply."
According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, LGUs in Metro Manila are currently implementing curfew hours that start either at 10 p.m. or 12 midnight, and end at either 3 a.m., 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.
The reimposition of curfew came as the country slowly rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination program, prioritizing healthcare workers and soldiers.
Widespread inoculation will not start until a few months later when the bulk of the vaccines are expected to arrive.
The Philippines has logged 603,308 total COVID-19 cases, as of Wednesday, including 44,470 active infections.