Curfew Hours, Temporary Closure of Malls in Metro Manila During Community Quarantine but with Exceptions

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Despite the Advisory No. 11 by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which states that “all manufacturing, retail and service establishments are advised to remain in operation during the community quarantine period, provided that social distancing and other safety and health measures are strictly observed”, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) issued an ordinance for temporary closure of malls, which is classified as “an area of mass gathering”, within the region in accordance to the 30-day quarantine. Though, this order by MMC excludes banks, pharmacies, clinics, hardware, grocery stores and other shops offering essential services.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Saturday that mall owners of Metro Manila are willing to cooperate with this, though, with the exception of those mentioned above within their establishments. Quarantine guidelines released by Malacañang include the prohibition of mass gatherings such as public events, community meetings, movie screenings, sport events, concerts and entertainment activities as measures in-lined with the country’s “Code Red Sub Level 2” as part of the prevention effort for COVID-19, which is now considered pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of Saturday, Ayala Malls and Robinsons Malls will implement early closure as support to the implementation of “community quarantine” by the president. Though as of now, there are no details yet on when will these malls be open again. It was estimated that the temporary shutdown of malls could affect a fraction of 700,000 workers in the region. Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, operated by Megaworld Corporation also known as Alliance Global Group Inc., run 13 malls in Metro Manila while Ayala Malls, a real-estate subsidiary of Ayala Land and an affiliate of Ayala Corporation, runs 17 malls in the National Capital Region. Meanwhile, the SM Supermalls owned by SM Prime Holdings and considered one of the biggest mall operators in Southeast Asia, has 74 malls all over the Philippines. 


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