MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday said village checkpoints must now be under police supervision to prevent misapplication of the rules on the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Aside from the “no police, no barangay checkpoint” policy, DOJ Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete said the PNP “shall likewise orient barangay officials/officers on IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] guidelines”.
Perete said ensuring the application of the same set of rules is necessary.
“We want people to strictly follow the quarantine rules to arrest the further transmission of the virus. We also need to ensure that those involved in food security and the continued provision of essential utilities will be allowed movement,” he said in a media statement.
The issuance by different barangays/local government units (LGUs) of different rules, especially those that impose undue restrictions not imposed by the IATF-MED [for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease] “makes difficult the attainment of these objectives”, he said.
In a memorandum dated March 23 to regional directors and Provincial Regional Offices, the PNP Directorate for Operations directed all unit commanders and chiefs of police (COPs) to ensure that all established quarantine control points (QCPs) at the municipal and barangay level are properly supervised and operates in accordance with the guidelines by the national government.
The QCPs shall be established by the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield composed of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection from the national down to the municipal level and all QCPs at the barangay level shall be coordinated with the municipal joint task group and to be supervised by the Unit commanders/COPs.
The move is in response to complaints arising from LGUs and barangay officials crafting their own guidelines which caused undue delay in the delivery of cargoes carrying food and other basic necessities. (ia/PNA)