Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, yesterday said workers should just stay where they are due to the restrictions under the quarantine order to prevent more people from getting infected with the coronavirus disease 2019.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
Displaced workers barred from walking to home provinces
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has barred displaced daily wage workers from walking back to their home provinces, with Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar saying it defeats the purpose of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, yesterday said workers should just stay where they are due to the restrictions under the quarantine order to prevent more people from getting infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

He ordered policemen manning the checkpoints to prevent workers and other non-exempted persons from crossing.

Despite the lack of mass transportation, daily wage workers such as those working in construction projects are leaving Metro Manila and walked for days just to reach their home provinces due to the lack of income as a result of the quarantine order.

Those who eventually reached their destinations, Eleazar said, should be quarantined.

Asked about the workers’ fears of going hungry by staying in Metro Manila, Eleazar claimed the trade and labor departments have programs for them.

He renewed the appeal for residents to stay in their homes to ensure COVID-19 is contained.

“If you stay at home, you are also considered heroes in this battle,” Eleazar said.

At least 454 persons were arrested in the eastern part of Metro Manila since Tuesday for violating the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Luzon to contain the COVID-19.

The Eastern Police District (EPD) said 240 were from Marikina, 158 from Pasig, 54 from Mandaluyong and two from San Juan.

A total of 434 persons, including 35 minors, were accosted for loitering outside their homes. Others were apprehended for drinking, walking half-naked along streets and smoking in public places.

Meanwhile, Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan will heed the advice of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to lift the window hours imposed on residents to go to the wet market to buy goods. – With Marc Jayson Cayabyab

GUILLERMO ELEAZAR PNP
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