Checkpoints up to keep 'unauthorized' Metro Manila tourists out of Tagaytay
Photo release shows Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino meeting with Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
Release / JTF CV Shield

Checkpoints up to keep 'unauthorized' Metro Manila tourists out of Tagaytay

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - September 20, 2020 - 2:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Cavite police have been directed to intensify their presence along the provincial borders and in popular destinations in Tagaytay City as the city reopens itself to tourism, the quarantine enforcement arm of the coronavirus task force said Sunday. 

"This is a work in progress. This is the first time that we have tourism being encouraged in an area near Metro Manila,” said Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, explaining that the move was done to effectively manage and control the arrival of tourists from neighboring localities.

Among the task force's initiatives is the setting up of quarantine control points once again on the boundary between Laguna and Cavite, both of which are under modified general community quarantine. 

The task force said that setting up these checkpoints "is essential to ensure that those coming from GCQ areas, particularly from Metro Manila, would not be able to enter Cavite without a travel authority."

Eleazar said that the re-opening of Tagaytay City means that people from any part of the country can now visit the area without travel authority except for those who live in areas under the general community quarantine or higher quarantine statuses.

RELATED: Tagaytay open to tourists only from MGCQ areas

'Tagaytay a model for LGU tourism'

At a separate online forum also on Sunday, the task force commander called Tagaytay "a good model" for other local government units that plan to open their borders for tourism in the future.

According to the JTF CV Shield, one of the health safety protocols that Cavite local police forces should focus on is the entry of unauthorized tourists, or those coming from areas under GCQ and higher quarantine status areas with no travel authority to show for it. 

Eleazar said at the same briefing that task force data shows that the eight focus crimes being tracked had reduced by 47% over the six-month implementation of community quarantine, which he said was a testament to the efforts of Philippine National Police's effort throughout the quarantine.

While the above figure is accurate, though, the commander in earlier press releases has also presented aggregate figures—or the total number of crimes that still did occur during the quarantine—in justifying the need for tighter enforcement on the part of the national police.

The joint task force has also said that the 17,075 cases of the focus crimes is proof of Filipinos' "defiance" to quarantine rules and authority, a claim that has been belied by numerous surveys and data. 

READ: 'All-out': Task force vows tighter curfew enforcement amid GCQ extension

"If Tagaytay City succeeds in this effort, then this will definitely be replicated by other LGUs especially those with tourist destinations. We do not want a scenario of an increase in COVID cases to happen. That is why necessary health protocols must be properly and strictly implemented,” he said.

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