President Rodrigo Duterte has announced on Monday, March 16, that the whole of Luzon is now under "enhanced community quarantine" until April 12, 2020

After facing several issues with the "community quarantine" protocol in Metro Manila, stricter measures are now being implemented by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19.) For starters, public transportation has been suspended. "Movement of everyone will be significantly limited," said Duterte. "Papaano natin matigilan ang contagion kung sige kayo labas nang labas, tapos you mingle with the others? Makita mo naman the crowded queues created ng mga gustong sumakay." Consequently, he clarified that "work in public and private sectors will be limited to work-from-home arrangement."

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The President emphasized: "You have to stay [at] home. You have to contribute to the fight. Lahat tayo may contribution. Lahat tayo mag bigay ng kanya-kanyang gift to the government and that is by obeying the law."

"Everyone will stay at home, leaving their houses only to buy food, medicine, and other basic necessities for survival," he added, clarifying that establishments who are offering basic goods will be allowed to operate—including banks.

To help employees financially survive during the "enhanced community quarantine", President Duterte has appealed to private companies to release their affected workers' 13th-month pay even if it's pro-rated. 

"The problem really is the economy. Maybe you can consider paying the 13th-month pay or just paying them maski kalahati sa sweldo nila kung talagang walang trabaho, as a way of showing your solidarity to the Filipino at this critical time," said Duterte. "Let us remain strong united in spirit to fight this dreaded disease."

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