LIST: Services considered essential during Luzon lockdown

Pauline Macaraeg
LIST: Services considered essential during Luzon lockdown

(3rd UPDATE) These services and establishments may remain open during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Luzon and its over 57 million people were placed on enhanced community quarantine or lockdown from March 17 to April 12 in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

Malacañang said only private establishments “providing basic necessities and such activities” are allowed to remain open during the quarantine period. 

What services and establishments qualify under these exemptions? Here’s the list based on the guideline Malacañang released on March 16 and additional guidelines  the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) issued two days later. 

These services and establishments were ordered to adopt a skeleton workforce and observe strict physical distancing measures.

Other businesses are allowed to operate as long as employees work from home.

Medical services

  • Pharmacies or drugstores
  • Hospitals
  • Medical clinics

Financial services

  • Banks
  • Money transfer services

Retail and wholesaling

  • Public markets
  • Supermarkets
  • Groceries
  • Convenience stores

Food preparation and delivery services

  • Food chains and restaurants (limited to carry-out orders)
  • Water-refilling stations
  • Food delivery services
  • Delivery services of Philippine Postal Corporation


  • Telecommunications companies
  • Cable and internet service providers
  • Water companies
  • Energy companies
  • Gasoline stations

Manufacturing establishments

  • Manufacturing plants of basic food products 
  • Medical manufacturing establishments

Railways construction

(On April 7, the IATF approved the Department of Transportation’s request to allow the resumption of the following:)

  • utility relocation works
  • specified limited works across 13 rail projects
  • rail replacement works for MRT-3


Business Process Outsourcing companies and export-oriented industries are also allowed to operate, as long as they strictly follow 3 measures:

  • physical distancing
  • provision of appropriate temporary accommodation arrangements to respective personnel by March 18
  • skeleton workforce


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Pauline Macaraeg

Pauline Macaraeg is digital forensics researcher for Rappler. She started as a fact checker and researcher in 2019, before becoming part of Rappler's Digital Forensics Team. She writes about the developing digital landscape, as well as the spread and impact of disinformation and harmful online content. When she's not working, you can find her listening to podcasts or K-pop bops.