Besides travel restrictions, most residents have been ordered to stay home, while most businesses and schools have been suspended as part of a monthlong containment strategy.
In the city of Santa Cruz, about 55 miles south of Manila, an official is now facing multiple charges after several people were pictured earlier this month in a dog cage after violating curfews.
Frederick Ambrocio, the chairman of Barangay Gatid, a local administrative division in charge of enforcing the curfew, was charged Saturday with violating the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Acts, in addition to grave threat and coercion, Philippine news site PhilStar reported.
Ambrocio posted a photo of the group that broke curfew on his Facebook page Friday, claiming the group was drunk and had to go home.
According to PhilStar, Ambrocio threatened to shoot them, including two minors, if they refused to get into the cage.
The official had previously shared a photo of the cage on March 15 with the caption that read, "Lock&Load."
Human Rights Watch said Thursday that Philippine authorities should "respect basic rights of people" detained for violating the curfew, after other images of people placed in dog cages and forced to sit in the midday sun emerged.
“Police and local officials should respect the rights of those they arrest for violating curfew and other public health regulations, which can be done while still allowing the Philippines government to take appropriate measures to combat COVID-19,” Phil Robertson, HRW's deputy Asia director, said in a statement. “Any mistreatment should be immediately investigated, and the authorities responsible held accountable.”
The Philippine Congress on Tuesday approved a bill declaring a national emergency and authorizing Duterte to launch a massive aid program for 18 million families and tap private hospitals and ships in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
The state of national emergency will last for three months but can be extended by Congress.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.