Non-leisure mall shops, other workplaces can partially reopen under modified ECQ

Lian Buan
Non-leisure mall shops, other workplaces can partially reopen under modified ECQ

Biking and jogging will also be allowed under modified ECQ but salons, gyms, karaoke bars, cinemas, and libraries would still remain closed

MANILA, Philippines – In a bid to partially reopen the economy, Malacañang on Wednesday, May 13, announced the list of sectors and services that can partially resume operations in places under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said “partially open” means only 50% of the workforce are on site.

Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City will be under MECQ beginning May 16, or after the ECQ ends in the capital region and several areas in the country.


Manufacturers of the following products that were barred from operating under ECQ can now partially reopen under MECQ:

  • Beverages 
  • Electrical machinery
  • Wood products, furniture
  • Non-metallic products
  • Textiles/garments
  • Tobacco products
  • Paper and paper products
  • Rubber and plastic products
  • Coal and refined petroleum products
  • Other non-metallic mineral products
  • Computer, electronic, and optical products
  • Electrical equipment
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers
  • Other transport equipment



Workplaces barred from operating under ECQ but allowed to partially reopen under MECQ are the following:

  • Office administrative and office support (such as photocopying, billing)
  • Other financial services (money exchange, insurance, reinsurance, and non-compulsory pension funding)
  • Legal and accounting
  • Management consultancy services
  • Architecture and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis
  • Scientific and research development
  • Advertising and market research
  • Computer programming
  • Publishing and printing
  • Film, music, and TV production
  • Photography, fashion, industrial, graphic, and interior design
  • Wholesale and retail trade of motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and parts
  • Repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, including parts


Essential and priority public and private construction projects, excluding small-scale projects, are also allowed to partially resume operations under MECQ. 

Mall shops, services

The following non-leisure mall shops can partially reopen under MECQ:

  • Mall and commercial centers for non-leisure activities 
  • Delivery and take out services of restaurants 
  • Hardware stores 
  • Clothing and accessories stores 
  • Mall-based government frontline services 
  • Bookstores and school and office supplies stores 
  • Baby care supplies stores 
  • Pet food and pet care supplies stores 
  • IT, communications and electronic equipment stores 
  • Flower, jewelry, novelty, antique, and perfume shops 
  • Toy stores (but playgrounds and amusement centers remain closed)

During the briefing, Roque said that forms of outdoor exercise like walking, jogging, running, and biking are allowed  under MECQ as long as people wear masks and observe two-meter physical distancing.

Gatherings of a maximum of 5 people, but still observing health protocols, are also allowed under the MECQ.

Under general community quarantine (GCQ), limited contact sports like golf and tennis are allowed. Schools in GCQ areas can allow skeleton staff to go to the campus to process requirements and prepare for graduation.

Absolutely prohibited

Establishments that will continue to be closed under MECQ, and even under GCQ, are barbershops, salons, gyms, karaoke bars, cinemas, libraries, museums, and cultural centers, said Roque, along with personal care services such as massage, sauna, facial care, and waxing, among others.

Tourist destinations – including beaches and resorts – travel agencies, and tour operators will remain closed for business under MECQ and even under GCQ.


The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) also amended its earlier announcement, taking back the low-risk status of 37 provinces after local executives appealed that their areas were not ready for the lifting of quarantine measures. The 37 provinces will be under modified GCQ beginning May 16.

In effect, Roque said there will be no area in the Philippines that will not be under a form of quarantine after May 15.

Roque also said that quarantine declarations are flexible, which means that an area under GCQ can be replaced under ECQ, depending on the situation. The standard for declaring quarantine status is still the number of cases vis-a-vis the treatment capacity of the health system in that area. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.