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On March 12th, 2020, an Executive Order for a Community Quarantine (Code Red Sub-Level 2) was announced to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Two days later, the order was upgraded to an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), which will place the entire of Luzon under a lockdown. 

For businesses (particularly those based in NCR area), main points to consider are:

  • The ECQ started on March 17, 2020, at midnight and was extended until April 30, 2020.
  • Initially, mass public transportation (including the railway systems in NCR) will remain in operation during the implementation of the Executive Order. However, the implementation of the ECQ placed a temporary stop on mass public transportation services.
  • Manufacturing, retail, and service establishments will remain in operation (depending on employers’ protocol). The ECQ implementation placed a stop on non-essential businesses, with the only industries open limited for certain banks, pharmacies, and grocery establishments.
  • Land, domestic air, and sea travel are suspended to and from Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14, 2020.
  • A curfew from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM will be set in the Metro Manila area.

 

What if I need to work from home (WFH)?

WFH setups offer both pros and cons. Here’s what you need to consider when your business goes for this setup:

  • Make sure that attendance or required work-hour schedules are all agreed upon
  • Agree on a software to track work schedules
  • If possible, have a back-up internet provider (or a pocket wifi) in case you can’t stay online
  • Setup your WFH station to replicate what you have at your physical office
  • Avoid distractions at home by sticking to your work schedule
  • If possible, (and if your area of residence has one) consider setting up office in a shared office area or coworking space. 
  • Paying for goods? Consider online transfers or virtual currency to avoid having to deal with physical cash. 

Work as usual in NCR

Here are the important key measure to have in mind when business requires employees to continue working in NCR:

  • When purchasing for essential items, practice the social distancing of at least 1 meter apart 
  • Always have your company ID with you if authorities request identification at checkpoints
  • Always wash your hands
  • Comply with the NCR curfew
  • If possible, consider setting up an office in a shared office area or coworking space. 
  • Make sure that your office administration knows the importance of sanitation during this period – considering informing them of constant cleaning

Miscellaneous business Information when it comes to the COVID-19 enhanced Community Quarantine

  • According to a recent Freelancers.com survey, most freelancers will make use of the time gained during the Executive Order to bring in more profit.
  • See the silver lining in this opportunity (regardless of WFH or in the office). Reconnect with family. Check for other online opportunities. Take the time to be and stay healthy.
  • In any instance that you should display any symptoms of COVID-19, please proceed immediately to the nearest health center. Comply with the testing and instructions that will be given to you. Inform as well your employers/partners in case you need to be checked.
  • Employees: know your rights. In case of any labor issue related to the COVID-19 community quarantine, please contact the labor group, Defend Jobs Philippines, hotline for legal assistance.

Stay Safe During this Time

Business can still push through during this time – we all just need to prepare and adjust to the necessary changes. Stay safe and healthy – we will all get through this!

Image source: Freepik

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