By Aaron Recuenco
Amid concerns of food shortage due to stricter measures to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), policemen manning checkpoints in major thoroughfares in Luzon have been instructed to allow the unhampered travel of trucks and other vehicles that transport food supply especially in Metro Manila.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said the free flow of cargo trucks in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon is one of the big changes that was implemented since the enhanced community quarantine was declared on Monday night.
“There will be not much of checking or questions for drivers of cargoes of food supply and other basic needs items because we want them to travel unhampered,” Gamboa said.
But Gamboa said policemen must still push for the basic checking of COVID-19 symptoms like body temperature and other signs of the viral infection. He added that policemen may still check the content of the cargo trucks.
“If there’s not much of the concerns, then they will be allowed to enter Metro Manila and even criss-cross the provinces all throughout Luzon,” Gamboa said.
PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in the Laging Handa briefing that there will be a separate lane that will be set up for cargo trucks delivering food, vegetables, and other agricultural products to Metro Manila.
The separate lane, according to Banac, is important so that cargoes will not be stuck in the expected traffic jams for private vehicles being checked by policemen.
Motorists using private vehicles are required to present identification cards and other proof showing they are exempted from the ‘no movement’ restriction.
In Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office personnel manning the border control checkpoints are also tasked to establish a separate lane for health workers.