Banks have decided to shorten their banking hours beginning today, Monday, following the risks posed to its employees and clients by the increasing number of new COVID-19 infections.
Philippine National Bank, the fifth-largest lender in terms of assets controlled by airline and tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan, said Sunday that starting March 22 up to April 16, its nationwide branch banking hours would be from 9am to 2pm only. This, however, excludes the branches in the malls and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Philippine Savings Bank, the thrift bank arm of the Metrobank Group, also shortened the banking hours of its branches in Metro Manila and Rizal province from 8:30am to 3pm.
BDO Unibank Inc., the largest lender controlled by the Sy family, said in a statement it will continue to implement its branch banking hours until 4pm.
Likewise, China Banking Corp. said effective March 22, the banking hours of its branches nationwide will be from 9am to 3:30pm only and the clearing cut-off time is 3pm.
Bank of the Philippine Islands said shortened banking hours have been implemented in all BPI, BPI Family Savings Bank and BanKo branches since the start of the pandemic.
Camp Aguinaldo under lockdown
The headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been placed under lockdown Sunday.
AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the “preemptive measure” aimed to arrest the “alarming and fast-growing number of COVID-19 infections.”
The AFP earlier ordered all soldiers and their dependents to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Comelec also shortens hours
The Commission on Elections has shortened the hours of registration and ordered the suspension of satellite registration starting March 22.
Comelec said applications for registration will be accepted from Mondays to Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all Offices of the Elections Officer.
The Comelec, however, said issuance of voter’s certification will be until 5 p.m.
“The designated disinfection day is Friday. However, in case the local government unit concerned prescribes a disinfection day other than Friday, the OEO will be able to close to the public on such day, in addition to the Comelec prescribed disinfection day,” it said.
Churches temporarily closed
The Dioceses of Novaliches and Cubao will lock down their churches starting Monday.
Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa said the initiative was prompted after his talk with the local government of Quezon City.
Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, Bishop of Cubao, imposed the same order although they will reopen on April 5, Easter Monday, a day after Novaliches resumes their services.
Parish priest dies
A parish priest of San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, succumbed to COVID-19 on Sunday.
San Agustin Church and Convento de San Agustin Intramuros will be closed starting March 21 “due to the nature of the Catholic priest’s death.”
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news website reported that Fr. Arnold Sta. Maria Cañoza died at the age of 45 early Sunday morning.
“Access to the church and convent will be restricted, and operations at the parish office will also be suspended until further notice,” the parish said.
19,000 reprimanded, fined
More than 19,000 people have been reprimanded, fined or apprehended for failure to observe the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unified curfew hours in the metropolis, police records indicated on Sunday.
Six days into the imposition of the unified curfew hours, Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said 19,628 curfew violators in Metro Manila were either warned, fined or detained.
Lawmen reported that 6,048 curfew violators were only warned, 7,326 were fined, 5,322 were released for regular filing of cases, while 824 did community service.