Is jogging allowed during ECQ? Police officer contradicts Palace, DOH’s rules

March 29, 2021 - 7:10 PM
Police officers remind people to maintain social distancing and to observe other health protocols while jogging around the premises of the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex in Pasay City, Manila on Saturday morning, March 20, 2021. (The STAR/Miguel de Guzman)

A police officer’s remarks about jogging during the enhanced community quarantine were juxtaposed to that of the Palace’s rule on exercise.

Southern Police District Brigadier General Eliseo Cruz, who covers the police districts of the cities of Parañaque, Pasay, Makati, Taguig, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and the municipality of Pateros, said that jogging is not allowed under the hard lockdown.

“ECQ ngayon, bawal na rin po ‘yung pagja-jogging. Hindi po essential ‘yang mga activity na ‘yan,” he told a DZRH reporter on Monday.

Cruz was manning CCP Complex in Pasay City when he made the comment.

“Noong hindi pa ECQ, eh talagang puntahan ito ng mga nage-ehersisyo. Eh sa ngayon, bawal po muna lahat ‘yan, kaya sisiguraduhin natin, babantayan natin ito,” he added.

Cruz said that they will deploy police mobile units who will monitor the area until the ECQ in the Greater Manila Area is lifted.

Last year, several individuals in sports or exercising attire were spotted loitering at the CCP grounds without practicing physical distancing measures. Some didn’t have face masks on while others wore them improperly.

Some minors were also in the area as seen in circulating photos and a video, despite them being prohibited from going out that time.

Contradicting rules

Some Filipinos got confused after they learned of Cruz’s remarks. They cited Malacañang and the Department of Health‘s guidelines on fitness activities amid ECQ.

“Hindi pa rin kayo nag-uusap?” a Twitter user asked in response to Cruz’s interview.

The user also included a clip of the Palace spokesman saying exercising outdoors is allowed.

Another online user said that exercise “helps boost the immune system” which is crucial to maintain especially in a public health crisis.

“Di ko gets. Kung wala namang nilalabag na protocol at nasa open space naman, bakit bawal?” he wrote.

“B. Gen Cruz, ‘di ka po ba kasali sa Viber group?” the online user added, accompanying his tweet with a similar clip of the Palace’s remarks on the topic.

“Coordinate kayo sa LGU (local government unit). Sa amin po (puwede) ang exercising, including jogging outdoors,” shared a teacher in response to Cruz’s interview.

Others shared a social media post by the DOH about the topic.

The Palace on Monday said that jogging, biking and other exercise-related activities are allowed during ECQ but only from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Exercising is also only allowed within the one’s respective village or community or within the vicinity of their residence.

“Importante po talaga ang exercise, hindi kayo pinagbabawalan pero huwag naman kayo lalabas doon sa komunidad ninyo o doon sa barangay ninyo. Huwag kayong lalayo dahil masisita kayo,” the Palace spokesperson said.

Malacañang added that going to parks and open spaces such as Rizal Park to exercise is prohibited.

What Cruz failed to clarify in his interview was that exercising in public areas such as the CCP Complex grounds is not allowed.

The DOH also said that the fitness activities are allowed but only during the morning and if it is done within the individual’s barangay.

The National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under ECQ until April 4. The measure was imposed as a means to temporarily mitigate the COVID-19 transmission.

As of Monday, the country has recorded its highest single-day tally of new COVID-19 cases at 10,016.

This has brought the total cases count to 731,894, wherein 115,495 or 15.8% are active cases.

Fatalities stand at 13,186 while those who have been tagged recovered are at 603,213.