More checkpoints ordered in areas under MECQ

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield will set up more checkpoints as President Duterte approved to revert the National Capital Region and nearby provinces to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).


Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazr, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said that all police commanders under MECQ areas were already tasked to install checkpoints at the boundary of towns and cities within NCR, Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite in order to contain the movement of the people.

When Metro Manila and nearby areas were placed a more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the checkpoints were just limited to the boundaries of the provinces and regions.

“We will add more checkpoint operations at the boundaries of cities and municipalities to ensure that only APOR (Authorized Persons Outside Residence) will be allowed to pass,” said Eleazar.

The PNP has a list of APORs based on the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID)—the APORs are those who work for basic delivery of goods and other essential services.

Eleazar said that those who are not included in the APOR list are mandated to buy their goods and secure basic services within their community, adding that they will be barred from crossing the boundaries of cities and municipalities for the said purposes.

But he said non-APOR has to secure Quarantine Passes anew from their Local Government Units (LGUs), especially at the barangay level, in order to go out of their houses since under the IATF guideline for MECQ, home quarantine should be strictly observed.

The requirement for quarantine pass was cancelled under GCQ.

“The LGUs are encouraged to issue Quarantine Passes anew to ensure that only one person per household would be allowed to go out to avail basic goods and services,” said Eleazar.

On transportation

Based on the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the Community Quarantines issued by the IATF-MEID, public transportation is suspended and only those commissioned shuttle services for employees of permitted offices or establishments, as well as point-to-point transport services provided by the government shall be allowed to operate.

The priority are healthcare workers.

“Private transportation such as company shuttles and personal vehicles utilized by persons authorized outside their residences are allowed subject to the guidelines provided by DOTr (Department of Transportation),” the guideline under MECQ read.
“The use of bikes and other non-motorized transportation is strongly encouraged,” it added.

Individual outdoor exercise such as outdoor walks, jogging, running or biking are allowed within MECQ areas provided, that the minimum health standards and precautions such as the wearing of masks and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.

Business operations

The guideline also stipulated that there should be limited operations in malls and shopping centers. Leisure establishments and services, however, will remain closed.

The following shall not be allowed to operate within an area under MECQ:

a. Tourist destinations such as water parks, reservation service and related services;

b. Entertainment industries such as cinemas, theaters, and karaoke bars;

c. Kid amusement industries such as playroom and kiddie rides;

d. Libraries, archives, museums and cultural centers;

e. Gyms, fitness studios and sports facilities; and

f. Personal care services such as massage parlors, sauna, facial care and waxing.