Logistics Services Limits during the Philippine COVID-19 Lockdown

April 17, 2020

With the growing spread of the COVID-19 virus, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the “community quarantine” of the whole island of Luzon causing the suspension of many businesses like malls, and affecting jobs and transportation as well. One such affected industry is the logistics services in the Philippines but in the midst of the confusion, what do we know so far on how to proceed with land logistic functions?

According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), stringent measures have been implemented to help keep the virus at bay such as checkpoint at different choke points in the country for people going in and out of Metro Manila but mostly for public transport and not for logistic services in the Philippines like the transportation of basic goods. Aside from this, law enforcement are urged to survey the streets at night for the implementation of civilian curfew from 8PM-5AM in areas that are under Modified Community Quarantine or MECQ. Less strict are measures are upheld in areas where there is only General Community Quarantine (GCQ) imposed. While there are general guidelines given to the public during the initial release of the order, the DOTr released the following:

The transport of medical products and anything analogously similar, especially that which is directly related to the pandemic, is allowed. Back in the heat of the pandemic last March, almost all other transport have been banned but now, especially in GCQ areas, they are being allowed as long as the personnel handling the transport are in proper Personal Protective Equipment or PPEs. Minimum requirements include a face mask and a face shield Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles answers some question in Rappler’s report stating that the transport of supplies and other basic goods are not be hindered by the lockdown. Food establishments are allowed to operate as well to help encourage the public to not leave their homes, too by virtue of in-house delivery and food delivery services lang GrabFood and FoodPanda. Online shopping and deliveries pertinent to are also again allowed, if not encouraged. So while there is a wavering sense of security for commuters who have to wade through checkpoints to get to work and ever changing community quarantine status, there should be little problem for logistics services in the Philippines to be able to deliver goods and necessities which are very badly needed especially during these trying times.