Enhanced community quarantine in Iloilo

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The province of Iloilo followed the lead of Iloilo City in implementing the enhanced community quarantine, or what is commonly known as lockdown, effective March 20, 2020.

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Friday signed Executive Order No. 080 (An Order Enforcing an Enhanced Community Quarantine Over the Entire Province of Iloilo for Stronger Protection Against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19).

Under the EO, strict observance of home quarantine will be observed in all households “whereby the movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and health needs.”

The order directed private establishments to be closed, except for, establishments providing food/water and other necessities; establishments providing for health needs; and establishments/factories/plants engaged in the manufacturing/processing/storage of basic food products and health needs.

Also exempted are establishments providing financial services; public utilities providing transportation, power, energy, water, telecommunications and cargo handling; establishments providing such other basic necessities and services; media establishments; and business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) establishments.

Food and water establishments could include:

-Municipal public markets, provided that, while the same shall be open everyday, scheduled market days shall be suspended in all local government units (LGUs);

-Supermarkets, sari-sari stores, grocery stores, convenient stores and bakeshops;

-Restaurants, fast food chains, and food stalls, provided that, sale of good shall only be on “take-out” basis and “dine-in” service shall not be allowed; and

-Water-refilling stations.

The order explicitly stated that establishments providing health needs are:


-Medical clinics, medical facilities, diagnostic centers and laboratories;

-Dental clinics;

-Pharmacies and drug stores

Establishments providing financial services are:



-Money transfer services; and

-Payment and remittance centers.

Establishments providing basic necessities and services are:

-Agricultural supply stores;

-Gasoline stations;

-Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) store/outlets;

-Funeral and crematory services, provided that, public viewing and wakes shall be prohibited.

The EO stated that “for the purposes of the foregoing, transit to and from the above establishments shall be allowed.”

While these establishments, and so are local government units (LGUs), are allowed to operate, “there shall be a reduction of personnel, rationalization of work hours and/or implementation of work-from-home arrangements, provided that, the same shall not take effect on the levels of product/work/services output.”

All such open establishments are also enjoined to strictly follow Department Memorandum No. 2020 -0056 issued by the Department of Health on Interim Guidelines for 2918 Novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV ARD) Response in Workplace on, among others, personal protection and hygiene, social distancing measures, environmental measures, and food safety measures.



The order also imposes liquor ban.

“The selling, furnishing, offering, buying, serving, dispensing, and transporting of alcoholic beverages, such as, whisky, brandy, gin, vodka, rum, cocktail, wine, champagne, beer and other intoxicating drinks, shall be prohibited.


Reverse quarantine/isolation procedures

During the enhanced community quarantine period, reverse quarantine/isolation procedures shall be implemented.

These will be done in pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 2020-018 dates Jan. 31, 2020 (Guides to Action against Coronavirus), Memorandum Circular No. 2020-023  dates Feb. 6, 20202 (Amended Guide Against the 2019 Novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease), and the Decision Tool for Corona Virus 2019 Assessment as of March 13, 2020.

The latter highlighted that persons considered more vulnerable to infection of COVID-19, such as elderly, pregnant women, and those suffering from disease/condition/underlying medical problems, including, among others, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease and immunosuppression; shall be quarantined, or accorded special attention for isolation/ social distancing measures at the household level.

Vulnerable persons shall be given priority in the reduction of personnel, rationalization of work hours and/or implementation of work-from-home arrangements in all such open establishments and in the LGUs.