Philippines Eases Curfew, Allows More People to Leave Homes

The Philippines shortened curfew hours in Manila and eased the stay-at-home order in a bid to boost its economy. The peso and stocks rose.

The curfew in most of the capital region will now be from midnight to 4 a.m., having previously been from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a televised briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

People aged 15 to 65 will be allowed to go out in areas under the modified general community quarantine, the most relaxed movement restriction, compared to 21 to 60 previously, Año said. In the capital, the age bracket is initially adjusted to 18-65, which will be further widened later on, he said.

The twin changes are in response to a request from the Cabinet to allow more businesses to thrive. The Southeast Asian nation on Monday reported 2,638 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to almost 360,000.

READ: Philippine GDP May Contract More Than Expected This Year

The Philippines Stock Exchange Index rose 1.2%, while the peso was slightly higher at 48.580 to dollar at 10:17 a.m. in Manila on Tuesday.

The local market welcomed the latest measures, according to Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. in Manila. “It paves the way for the economic engine to rev up,” he said, forecasting the peso at 48.30-48.60 to a dollar and the stock index at 6,100-6,300 over the near term.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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