Modified ECQ – What it means for the transport sector

Updated May 14, 2020 | Same topic: COVID-19 Updates

Not quite the kind of quarantine that everyone’s been expecting.

As part of steps to gradually ease restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak outbreak, Metro Manila, Laguna province, and Cebu City will be placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from May 16 until May 31. This was according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, speaking in a televised press conference earlier.

What does the 'modified' ECQ in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cebu City mean? | Teleradyo

Information as to which specific industries can be reopened under the MECQ is still pending as of this writing. Roque explained that the list is still being finalized, and that more details will be disclosed tomorrow.

A state of MECQ is not as restrictive as the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), although it falls short of the general community quarantine (GCQ) in terms of which activities are permitted to the public. How will this affect the transport sector?

With MECQ in place, people will be allowed to move within their respective cities, but only for the purposes of getting essential goods and services. Work-related travel will also be permitted but on a limited basis, as only certain industries can resume operations with a maximum of half of their workforce allowed on-site.

>>> Related: DOTr issues updated GCQ guidelines for land transport

ecq modified

Not quite the kind of quarantine that everyone’s been expecting

Public transport is still restricted to delivering essential goods and services, while class suspensions for all levels are still in effect.

In contrast, under the widely-expected GCQ, government and private industries can restore operations up to 75 percent, except for amusement activities and those involving mass gatherings. Transport services will be restored on a limited basis with passengers observing social distancing, while alternative learning methods will be implemented in schools.

>>> Related: New Normal: How the general quarantine will affect our drives

Areas that will be placed in GCQ until May 31 include the following:

  • Region II
  • Region III
  • Region IV-A
  • Region VII
  • Region IX
  • Region XI
  • CAR

While provinces in the following regions will have all quarantine restrictions lifted:

  • Region I
  • Region IV-B
  • Region V
  • Region VI
  • Region VIII
  • Region X
  • Region XII

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Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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