Non-APORs not allowed to fetch and drive essential personnel — PNP chief

Non-APORs not allowed to fetch and drive essential personnel â PNP chief
Members of the Quezon City Police District set up a checkpoint at the boundary of Quezon City and Marikina on Tuesday midnight, Aug. 3, 2021, to inspect passing motorists in preparation for the re-implementation of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Unauthorized persons outside of residence will not be allowed to drive other APORs to and from their workplaces amid the two-week enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila starting Friday, the chief of the Philippine National Police said.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the coronavirus task force's recommendation for Metro Manila to be under the strictest form of quarantine starting August 6 to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta variant. As a result, only essential travel and services are allowed during the ECQ.

Speaking in an interview aired over DZMM TeleRadyo, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said this is because the practice of "hatid-sundo" will be prone to abuse by non-APORs who want to go out despite the strict stay-at-home orders.

"Workforce APORs who are leaving to go to work, what if they don't drive and are fetched by motorcycles? Right now, if you’re a workforce APOR, you’re not allowed to be fetched if you do not know how to drive,” Eleazar said in Filipino. 

Eleazar asked the public for understanding over the policy and reasoned that public transportation will be operating anyway.

READ: Public transport allowed in Metro Manila during ECQ

But ahead of the full implementation, thoroughfares around the borders of Metro Manila were already congested after the PNP set up quarantine control points to implement its strict border control. Officers manning checkpoints sift through each and every motorist to check if they are APORs. 

Unfortunately for commuters and motorists, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya at Monday afternoon's Laging Handa briefing said that once ECQ kicks in on Friday, the quarantine control points bordering the NCR Plus bubble will also be set up within Metro Manila. 

Commuter group The Passenger Forum pointed out earlier that many workers live farther from Metro Manila where housing is more affordable and will have to line up at the PNP's checkpoints before going to work. 

“This can be abused. Anyone who's not an APOR can drive alone and say 'I'm sorry, I left to fetch somebody,’ or 'I'm going somewhere to fetch a doctor or whoever,'” Eleazar said.

"We know this will affect other people, but worse abuse might be caused if we don’t control this. Anyway, public transportation will continue to operate. That’s the purpose, to limit people going outside."

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