Task force tightens control on travel authority; coordinates with LGUs on influx from urban areas

Published September 8, 2020, 3:26 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield has intensified the screening on the issuance of Travel Authority amid the appeals from the Local Government Units (LGUs) to control the influx of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) to their areas.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (PNP / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said the LGUs have started to complain about the lack of quarantine facilities and the lack of personnel to attend to the arriving LSIs as a result of the exodus.

Eleazar said the uncoordinated return of the LSIs would strain the capacity of the LGUs to attend to the protocols that the returning LSIs have to undergo. He said the LGUs would not have enough personnel and facilities to enforce the guidelines being implemented in the cities and municipalities against the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

“Travel Authority through prior coordination gives opportunity for the receiving LGUs to plan and control entry of people particularly those coming from the National Capital Region which is the epicenter of the virus,” he added.

The National Task Force on COVID has given the LGUs the authority to initiate their respective protocols in addressing the threat of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

Under existing policies and rules, a Highly-Urbanized City, a province or even a region can request the NTF on COVID-19 for the suspension of the entry of the LSI. The receiving LGUs can control individual entry of LSI thru prior coordination via the Travel Authority.

A Travel Authority is part of the preventive measures of the national government to contain the movement of the people, especially from areas with high cases to the areas with minimal or no COVID-19 cases, and eventually prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

It is needed by the LSIs if the travels would cross the borders of the provinces and Highly-Urbanized Cities based on the guidelines issued by the NTF on COVID-19 that are being enforced by the JTF COVID Shield.

For an individual to be given a Travel Authority, a Medical Clearance Certificate issued by the City or Municipal Health Office must be secured and submitted to the local NTF office through the Help Desk of the city of municipal police stations.

Before a Travel Authority is released, Eleazar said there should be a coordination with the receiving LGUs as to the names of the LSIs, date of travel, details about the vehicles that would be used in the transportation and other pertinent information.

As an added counter-checking measure, Eleazar said that the arriving LSIs will be checked by the police station of the LGU destination if there was prior coordination made for the travel.