Eleazar: Get used to checkpoints, curfew

By Aaron Recuenco

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield urged the public to get accustomed to checkpoints and curfew, saying it will be part of the new normal under the government’s plan to contain the spread of COVID-19.

A soldier checks the temperature of a car passenger at a checkpoint before entering Manila on March 16, 2020, as part of measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN) A soldier checks the temperature of a car passenger at a checkpoint before entering Manila  (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

By checkpoint, both the Quarantine Control Points (QCPs) and mobile checkpoints will be in place for private vehicles while cargo vehicles and delivery trucks will be under the Dedicated Control Points (DCPs).

Currently, there are 4,398 QCPs and 115 DCPs across the country. The QCPs are manned and supervised by the police and the military while the DCPs are manned and supervised by the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG).

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, explained that the mobile checkpoints aim to complement with the QCPs which are expected to let go of the vehicles to prevent monstrous traffic jams.

“We cannot check all the vehicles because it will defeat the purpose of partially re-opening the economy. The solution here is to have mobile checkpoints,” said Eleazar.

The QCPs and the mobile checkpoints, according to Eleazar, will be complemented with the frequent beat patrols in various communities, especially in urban areas, not only as part of the anti-crime measures but also for the implementation of curfew.

“The strict implementation of curfew is not only for the protection of our workers who go out for a nightshift or who go home during nighttime, it is also necessary to ensure that those who have no business going out should stay at home and make the most of the time bonding with their families instead of risking themselves to be infected by the coronavirus,” said Eleazar.

Eleazar explained that the strict implementation of the community quarantine rules which include curfew has been found to be effective in preventing more infection and deaths as revealed by the study of experts from the University of the Philippines.

“We appeal to the public to get used to these checkpoints and curfew as part of the new normal. This is not about restraining their rights, this is all about ensuring the protection of everybody from coronavirus,” said Eleazar.#