The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) began implementing border controls in Metro Manila and its adjoining provinces, or NCR Plus, on Sunday, August 1 as part of the "travel bubble" limitation aimed to stem the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, Quarantine Control Points (QCP) have been established along the borders of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan that will be manned by police authorities to ensure only Authorized Persons of Residence (APOR) can enter and move within the said areas.
Año, however, said that once the enhanced community quarantine takes effect on August 6, checkpoints will also be located inside Metro Manila.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque announced July 30 that Metro Manila will be under “general community quarantine subject to heightened and additional restrictions” from July 31 to August 6. An ECQ will then take effect from August 6 to 20.
Monitoring the entry and exit of people within the NCR Plus bubble, according to Año, is in compliance with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution No. 130-A, which states that traveling to and out of the NCR Plus bubble will be restricted a week before Metro Manila will be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on August 6.
“The implementation of strict border controls for people entering and leaving the NCR Plus bubble is critical to stopping the spread of the Delta variant,” Año said.
Año also announced that the Philippine National Police (PNP) may “still install regular checkpoints inside the NCR Plus bubble to implement curfew hours, enforce minimum health standards, and for general law enforcement.”
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said those who are considered as APORs should present the following to police authorities manning the QCPs: IATF IDs issued by regulatory agencies, valid IDs or pertinent documentation issued by establishments allowed to operate under the current quarantine classification, and other proof that purpose of travel is allowed.
Meanwhile, people who are considered as APORs include the following:
- Health and emergency frontline services and uniformed personnel;
- Government officials and employees on official travel;
- Duly-authorized relief and humanitarian assistance actors;
- Persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons;
- Persons going to and from the airport;
- Anyone crossing zones for work in permitted industries;
- Public utility vehicle operators.
Año also reminded the PNP to allow the movement of cargo trucks and delivery vehicles, especially those carrying food items “across all our checkpoints.”
The Philippines has recorded a total of 1,597,689 COVID-19 cases, as of this writing.
(Banner and thumbnail photo by Walter Bollozos/The Philippine STAR)