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Border checkpoints activated

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
Border checkpoints activated
(July 30, 2021) Eastern Police District (EPD) conduct a check point along E. santos street in Brgy. Concepcion uno in Marikina while Metro Manila will remain under General Community Quarantine with heightened and additional restrictions until August 5 but will revert to the strictest Enhanced Community Quarantine on August 6, 2021.
Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said quarantine control points along the boundaries of the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble were activated at 12:01 a.m. and will be in full implementation until after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been lifted.

President Duterte placed Metro Manila under ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20 due to the threat of the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19.

Año said the Joint Task Force COVID Shield will implement the checkpoints along the borders of Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna and Rizal to ensure that only Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) will be allowed.

Local police will require IDs issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) or other pertinent documentation issued by establishments allowed to operate under the current quarantine classification.

Unauthorized persons will not be allowed to pass and will be asked to return to their homes.

“The implementation of strict border controls in the NCR+ areas is critical to stopping the spread of the Delta variant,” Año said in a statement.

Violators may be charged for non-cooperation under provisions of RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government reminded police not to hinder the free movement of cargo/delivery vehicles, especially those bringing food across all quarantine control points.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to begin preparations for the implementation of ECQ in Metro Manila.

Eleazar instructed NCRPO director Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. to ensure that all quarantine restrictions that were implemented before are in place during the ECQ.

Among these are the deployment of police personnel and coordination with local government units (LGUs) for force multipliers.

“Quarantine restrictions are nothing new to us, and that is why I trust that our police will properly enforce these,” Eleazar said in a statement in Filipino.

Eleazar said police officers will strictly enforce minimum public health and safety protocols on streets, communities, public utility vehicles, mass transport system and commercial establishments.

As the PNP gears up for another round of stricter enforcement of quarantine protocols, Eleazar reminded police to be courteous and respect the rights of the public, especially in dealing with violators.

“It is not our duty to punish, hurt and shame violators,” he said.

Eleazar urged people to strictly follow ECQ guidelines and always follow instructions, not only from police officers, but also the force multipliers.

He also called on the public to avail of the COVID-19 vaccines acquired by the government so that they are protected from the virus.

Eleazar reminded police officers to ensure cleanliness and orderliness in their respective stations. He cited as an example the Talipapa police station 3 in Quezon City, wherein 82 of its police officers contracted COVID-19.

“Maintaining the cleanliness of our police stations is not only to make them presentable to the public, it is also for the health of the police assigned there,” he said.

Police commanders must also make sure that their personnel, especially those deployed at quarantine control points or checkpoints, are equipped with protective gear. — Emmanuel Tupas

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