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Metro Manila under GCQ from June 1; Courts Nationwide Resume Full Operations on June 1 

by Carina Laforteza

Published: May, 2020

Submission: May, 2020


Metro Manila, Regions II, III, and IV-A, and the provinces of Pangasinan and Albay (which are currently under [MECQ]) will be placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from June 1. This is based on the announcement made on May 28, 2020 by the President. Many other areas of the country which are now under GCQ will transition to Modified General Community Quarantine starting June 1.[1]

GCQ is less restrictive than MECQ, but even during the GCQ period, “all identified high-risk barangays within [Metro Manila] shall be subject to the zoning concept to be implemented by the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19,” as provided in Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution No. 40 dated May 27, 2020.[2] 

  1. Operational capacity

Some of the establishments and businesses allowed to operate during GCQ and their corresponding operational capacities are set out in the table below. The list is based on the IATF’s Revised Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines (IATF Revised Omnibus Guidelines) (https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/05may/20200522-omnibus-guidelines-on-the-implementation-of-community-quarantine-in-the-philippines.pdf) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Memorandum Circular No. 20-22 (Business Establishments or Activities Allowed to Operate in Areas Declared under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and General Community Quarantine (GCQ) Pursuant to the Omnibus Guidelines on Community Quarantine as Confirmed and Adopted by the President Under Executive Order No. 112 S. 2020) (https://dtiwebfiles.s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/COVID19Resources/COVID-19+Advisories/050520_MC2022.pdf).


Operational Capacity

Establishments Allowed to Operate in a GCQ Area


(Note: We have grouped establishments we have considered similar, but these establishments are listed under various provisions of the IATF’s Revised Omnibus Guidelines and DTI Memorandum Circular No. 20-22. The descriptions of the establishments are directly quoted from the IATF’s Revised Omnibus Guidelines and DTI Memorandum Circular No. 20-22.)


Full Operational Capacity































· Government offices (alternative work arrangements as may be deemed proper in accordance with Civil Service Commission may be implemented)



· Public and private hospitals

· Health, emergency and frontline services, including dialysis centers, chemotherapy centers and the like

· Other medical, dental, rehabilitation, and optometry clinics

· Pharmacies or drug stores

· Veterinary clinics


Retail and Manufacturing

· Private establishments and their employees involved in the provision of essential goods and services (e.g., public markets, groceries, convenience stores, laundry shops, food preparation establishments for take-out and delivery, water-refilling stations)

· Activities in the value chain related to essential products (e.g., food, medicine and vitamins production, soap and detergents, diapers, feminine hygiene products, disinfectants)

· Manufacturers of medicine, medical supplies, devices and equipment, including suppliers of input, packaging, and distribution

· Manufacturing companies and suppliers of equipment or products necessary to perform construction works (e.g., cement and steel)



· Banks, money transfer services, including pawnshops only insofar as performing money transfer functions, microfinance institutions, and credit cooperatives, including their armored vehicle services, if any

· Capital markets


Utilities and Power Generation

· Water supply and sanitation services and facilities (e.g., waste disposal services, property management and building utility services)

· Energy and power companies and their third-party contractors and service providers; gasoline stations

· Telecommunications companies, internet service providers, cable television providers

· Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply services

· Sewerage (except emptying of septic tanks), pest control, garbage collection and disposal, sewer maintenance and treatment



· Delivery and courier services, whether in-house or outsourced (food, medicine, clothing, accessories, hardware, housewares, school and office supplies, pet food and other veterinary products, and other essential goods)

· Logistics service providers (cargo handling, warehousing trucking, freight forwarding, and shipping line)



· Workers accredited by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to work on utility relocation works and limited works on railway projects (with on-site or near-site accommodations and/or shuttle services, where applicable)

· Essential public and private projects (e.g., quarantine facilities, facilities for construction personnel performing emergency works, flood control, and other disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation works), in accordance with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) guidelines

· Priority public and private construction projects (e.g., food production, agriculture, fishery, energy, housing, communication, water utilities, manufacturing, and BPOs), in accordance with DPWH guidelines



· Business process outsourcing establishments (BPOs) and export-oriented businesses, including mining and quarrying

· Media establishments

· Agriculture, forestry, and fishery industries

· Airline and aircraft maintenance, pilots and crew, and employees of aviation schools

· Ship captains and crew, including shipyard operations and repair

· Funeral and embalming services

· Humanitarian assistance from civil society organizations and non-government organizations

· Pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or such other religious ministers conducting necrological or funeral rites

· Security personnel

· Printing presses authorized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue or other appropriate agencies to print official receipts and other accountable forms

· Companies engaged in repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment, including those engaged in the repair of computers and household fixtures and equipment

· Real estate activities (e.g., leasing, buying, selling, subdividing, appraising, and development of cemetery and columbarium)


50% Operational Capacity up to Full Operational Capacity

Retail and Manufacturing

· Other manufacturing industries (e.g., beverages including alcohol drinks, electrical machinery, wood products and furniture, non-metallic products, textiles and clothing, tobacco products, paper and paper products, rubber and plastic products, coke and refined petroleum products, other non-metallic products, computers, electronic, and optical products, electrical equipment, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, other transport equipment, and others)

· E-commerce companies



· Postal and courier and delivery services of all other products not included in the enumeration above

· Housing service activities

· Office administrative, office support and other business activities (e.g., photocopying, billing, and record keeping services)

· Security and investigation activities



50% Operational Capacity, Without Prejudice to Work-From-Home and Other Alternative Work Arrangements




















Retail and Manufacturing

· Malls and commercial centers (subject to DTI guidelines)

· Wholesale and retail trade of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles including their parts and components

· Repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles (including vulcanizing shops, battery repair shops, auto repair shops)

· Hardware stores

· Bookstores and school and office supplies stores

· Baby care supplies stores

· Pet food and pet care supplies: IT, communications, and electronic equipment; flower, jewelry, novelty, antique, perfume shops



· Legal and accounting

· Management consultancy activities

· Architecture and engineering activities; Technical testing and analysis

· Scientific and research development

· Advertising and market research

· Computer programming (e.g., writing modifying, testing and supporting software, planning and designing computer systems), information service activities (e.g., data processing and hosting activities), other related activities



· Other financial services (e.g., money exchange, insurance, reinsurance, and pension funding; except compulsory social security)


Media and Arts

· Motion picture, video and television program production, sound recording and music publishing activities

· Photography services, fashion, industrial, graphic, and interior design



· Accredited diplomatic missions and international organizations

· Employment activities (e.g., recruitment and placement, for essential activities)

· Publishing and printing activities (e.g., newspapers, magazines, other periodicals, books, brochures, manuscripts, posters, maps, atlases, advertising catalogues, prospectuses, etc.; printing directly onto textiles, plastic, glass, metal wood, and ceramics)

· Rental and leasing activities other than real estate (e.g., motor vehicles, machinery, and equipment; except for entertainment and mass gathering purposes)


Skeleton workforce

Accommodation establishments may operate through an in-house skeleton workforce to accommodate the following:


a. For guests who have existing booking accommodations for foreigners as of March 17, 2020 for Luzon and May 1, 2020 for other areas

b. Guests who have existing long-term bookings

c. Distressed OFWs and stranded Filipinos or foreign nationals

d. Repatriated OFWs in compliance with approved quarantine protocols

e. Non-OFWs who may be required to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine

f. Healthcare workers and other employees from exempted establishments under these Omnibus Guidelines and applicable Memoranda from the Executive Secretary


They “may prepare: (a) packed meals for distribution to guests who opt for the same; and (b) food orders for take-out and delivery only.”


Not allowed to operate

· Ancillary establishments within hotels or other similar establishments (e.g., restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, spas, and the like)

· Gyms, fitness studios, and sports facilities

· Entertainment industries (e.g., cinemas, theaters, karaoke bars, comedy bars, pubs, bars, nightclubs, beerhouses)

· Kid amusement industries (e.g., playgrounds, playrooms, and rides)

· Libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural centers, art galleries, botanical and zoological gardens

· Tourist destinations (e.g., water parks, beaches, resorts; except those used as quarantine facilities)

· Travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities

· Gambling and betting (e.g., cockfighting, casinos)

· Personal care services (e.g., massage parlors, sauna bath establishments, facial care, foot spa, and waxing salons)

· Any other amusement, leisure, gaming, and tourism establishments that promote mass gathering



  1. The other key points to remember during the GCQ period are summarized in the table below.


GCQ Period - Key Points


Relevant Section of the IATF Revised Omnibus Guidelines

On movement of persons

Residents can only step out to --

· “[access] essential goods and services;”

· “work in the offices or industries permitted to operate” or

· perform “[o]utdoor non-contact sports and other forms of exercise” (e.g., walking, jogging, running, biking, golf, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian, and skateboarding) subject to the observation of minimum public health standards “and no sharing of equipment where applicable.”


According to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), residents traveling within the province will no longer need to present a quarantine pass. However, a travel pass will be required for those crossing borders from one province or region to another.[3] Employees traveling for work may still present their company IDs at checkpoints.[4]


Sections 4(2) and (13)

Public and religious gatherings

· Entertainment (e.g., movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and community assemblies) and non-essential work gatherings are prohibited.


· Gatherings “for the provision of critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities” are allowed, provided they comply with “the prescribed minimum health standards.”


· “Religious gatherings shall be limited to not more than ten (10) persons, until otherwise modified through subsequent issuances of the IATF.”


Section 4(12)

Public transport

Road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation are allowed to operate at a “reduced operational and vehicle capacity in accordance with the guidelines issued by the DOTr.”


According to the updated DOTr Guidelines on Public Transportation for the Road Sector, the operation of public transport in areas placed under GCQ will be executed in two phases:


· Phase 1 (covering June 1 to June 21): “[T]rains and bus augmentation, taxis, transport network vehicle service (e.g., Grab), Point-to-Point buses, and bicycles will be allowed to operate with limited passenger capacity.”


· Phase 2 (covering June 22 to June 30): “[P]ublic utility buses, modern public utility vehicles, and UV express will be allowed to operate, also with limited passenger capacity,” in addition to the transport modes allowed to operate during Phase 1.


The updated DOTr Updated Guidelines on Public Transportation for the Road Sector is available at: https://www.facebook.com/DOTrPH/posts/1711853112287151.


Section 4(14)



  1. Courts Nationwide to Resume Full Operations on June 1


The Supreme Court has issued Administrative Circular No. 41-2020 (Court Operations Beginning 1 June 2020) dated May 29, 2020[5] which provides that all courts and offices of the courts nationwide will resume full operations starting June 1, 2020. However, courts and offices of courts may continue to implement a skeleton workforce due to the limited operation of mass transportation.


The circular states that “[t]here shall no longer be extensions in the filing of petitions, appeals, complaints, motions, pleadings and other court submissions that will fall due beginning 1 June 2020. In the same manner, the periods for court actions with prescribed periods beginning 1 June 2020 shall no longer be extended.” Inquiries regarding cases and transactions and requests for documents and services may be coursed through “hotline numbers, email addresses and/or Facebook accounts of the courts, as posted on the website of the Supreme Court.” Walk-in requests are not allowed.


The following are some of the other key points of the circular:


  1. Pleadings


  • “All courts shall receive all petitions and pleadings filed by any party.”[6]


  • Initiatory pleadings in criminal and civil cases may be filed manually or electronically.


  • Filings for pending cases may also be made electronically “with the branch where the case is pending if the said branch has an official email address” or “the Office of the Clerk of Court, which shall forward the said transmissions to the branches where the cases are pending.”



  1. Hearings


“The hearings of cases, regardless of the stage of the trial, shall all be in-court, except in cases involving Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) who shall continue to appear remotely from the detention facility, and in cases with extraordinary circumstances as may be determined by the justices and judges, which shall be heard through videoconferencing.”[7]


  1. Raffling of cases


  • “The raffle of cases in all the court stations shall proceed regularly, either electronically in eCourt stations, or in accordance with the procedure laid down in A.M. No. 03-8-02-SC in non-eCourt stations.”


  • Only the members of the Raffle Committee may be present during the raffle.


  • “Raffle through videoconferencing shall no longer be conducted.”



  1. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Issuances



  1. Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 54-2020 (Payment of Internal Revenue Taxes through the Mobile Application Facility of the PayMaya Philippines, Inc.)[8]


The BIR has issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 54-2020 to inform taxpayers that the PayMaya mobile application (PayMaya) is an “additional channel [for] payment of internal revenue taxes.”


Taxpayers who wish to pay internal revenue taxes through PayMaya “are required to file their corresponding tax returns using the electronic filing facilities of eBIRForms System and/or Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS).”



  1. Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 14-2020 (Amending the Pertinent Provisions on Cash Conversion of Unutilized Tax Certificate under Revenue Regulations No. 5-2000)[9]


The Secretary of Finance has issued RR No. 14-2020 to amend the rules on cash conversion of Tax Credit Certificates (TCC).

TCCs that “remain unutilized for more than one year at any given interval of time during its validity” shall be “converted into cash with prior notice by the BIR, subject to the availability of funds and the procedural requirements that will be issued by the [BIR].”


RR No. 14-2020 also provides that “all TCCs which are already expired upon the effectivity of [the RR] shall be automatically cancelled by the BIR,” except TCCs with the BIR “[for] utilization through [tax debit memo], conversion or revalidation, before the expiration of their respective dates of validity.” The list “of expired TCCs and the names of its taxpayers-owners” will be posted on the BIR’s website “within 30 days from the date of effectivity of the [RR].”


This RR will take effect “15 days immediately following the date of [its] publication in any newspaper of general circulation.” It was published on May 29, 2020 at the Manila Bulletin.


For more information about tax issuances, please contact your account partner or the author of this client bulletin: Carina C. Laforteza Partner; Head of the Tax Department [email protected]




Other COVID-19 related bulletins The links to our earlier bulletins can be found here.


Please note that there are other COVID-19 related government issuances which are not covered by our bulletins. For more information about other regulations, please contact your account partner or [email protected] or [email protected].








[1] Duterte approves placing Metro Manila under GCQ starting June 1 dated May 28, 2020; https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/28/duterte-approves-placing-metro-manila-under-gcq-starting-june-1/; last visited at 12:09 PM on May 29, 2020.

Please note that the President’s announcement has not yet been published through official sources at the time of this briefing’s writing.

[2] IATF Resolution No. 40 dated May 27, 2020; http://www.covid19.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IATF-Resolution-No.-40.pdf; last visited at 3:23 PM on May 29, 2020.

[3] DILG: No need for quarantine passes in GCQ areas, travel passes still required when crossing borders dated May 29, 2020; https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/05/29/2017353/dilg-no-need-quarantine-passes-gcq-areas-travel-passes-still-required-when-crossing-borders; last visited at 12:15 PM on May 29, 2020.

[4] Duterte: Metro Manila under GCQ on June 1 dated May 29, 2020; https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/05/29/2017338/duterte-metro-manila-under-gcq-june-1; last visited at 12:17 PM on May 29, 2020.

[5] SC Administrative Circular No. 41-2020 dated May 29, 2020; http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/11529/; last visited at 6:55 PM on May 29, 2020.

[6] Paragraph 4, SC Administrative Circular No. 41-2020 dated May 29, 2020; http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/11529/; last visited at 6:55 PM on May 29, 2020.

[7] Paragraph 6, SC Administrative Circular No. 41-2020 dated May 29, 2020; http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/11529/; last visited at 6:55 PM on May 29, 2020.

[8] BIR Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 54-2020 dated February 12, 2020 (but stamped “received by the BIR” on May 28, 2020); https://www.bir.gov.ph/images/bir_files/internal_communications_1/Advisory/posted%20during%20quarantine%20march%202020/Revenue%20Memorandum%20Circular%20No.%2054-2020.pdf; last visited at 3:14 PM on May 29, 2020.

[9] Revenue Regulations No. 14-2020 dated January 30, 2020 (but stamped “received by the BIR” on May 28, 2020); https://www.bir.gov.ph/images/bir_files/internal_communications_1/Full%20Text%20RR%202020/Revenue%20Regulations%20No.%2014-2020.pdf; last visited at 3:18 PM on May 29, 2020.

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