FACT CHECK: Has Manila Closed All Malls In March 2021 Using Ordinance 8617?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

Posts shared on Facebook claim the Philippine city of Manila closed all malls in March 2021 under a new ordinance.

Verdict: False

The graphic dates back to March of last year. The city ordinance, which was enacted in March 2020, is no longer in effect, according to the Manila Public Information Office.

Fact Check:

Facebook users have recently been sharing a graphic about the “temporary closure of all malls and similar establishments in the City of Manila” that bears branding from the Manila Public Information Office. One user who shared the image March 13 commented, “Reminder…. New ordinances in Manila.”

However, the March 2021 Facebook posts about the city ordinance are sharing outdated information. Ordinance No. 8617 was enacted in March 2020 and is no longer in effect, according to the Manilla Public Information Office’s Facebook page.

“WARNING: The Manila Public Information Office would like to clarify that Ordinance No. 8617 or the temporary closure of all malls and similar establishments in the City of Manila was implemented last year,” the office wrote on Facebook March 15. “The said city ordinance was posted last March 17, 2020 in line with the announcement that Metro Manila will be placed under the Enhanced Community Quarantine due to COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Manila Public Information Office went on to say in the Facebook post that the ordinance is “no longer in effect” and asked the public to “remain vigilant at all times particularly this time of pandemic where love and understanding should be spread and not hate and confusion.” Manila’s mayor, Isko Moreno Domagoso, shared the same statement on Facebook.

The Philippines allowed malls in Manila to partially reopen with restrictions in May 2020, according to Bloomberg. Manilla malls were further reopened in October 2020, the outlet also reported. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Banner Urging Sara Duterte-Caprio To Run For President?)

Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque said earlier this month that if COVID-19 case numbers in the country continue to rise, more widespread lockdowns may be a possibility, Reuters reported. The Philippines has reported over 693,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and some 13,000 deaths to date, according to the World Health Organization.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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