MANILA – The Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) has launched mobile checkpoints to arrest unauthorized persons outside residence (UPOR) and flag social distancing violations in private vehicles.
“I directed HPG (Highway Patrol Group) to conduct mobile checkpoints and Oplan Habol along Edsa (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) and other major thoroughfares in NCR (National Capital Region) to check on private vehicles if there are UPOR occupants. HPG is coordinating with MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) on this,” JTF CV Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar told reporters on Wednesday.
He said these mobile checkpoints will be effective in enforcing the enhanced community quarantine on Edsa where there are no quarantine control points (QCPs).
The measure came in the heels of a recent increase in the number of private vehicles traveling in Metro Manila.
“Maybe some of our fellow Filipinos are getting bored so they think of going on a road trip to take advantage of smooth traffic flow and they even gathered their friends and families’ members in their vehicles. We would like to emphasize that this is a clear violation of the home quarantine and social distancing rules,” he said in Filipino.
Only those considered as authorized persons outside residence (APOR) will be allowed to pass the QCPs.
The task force established a total of 115 dedicated control points (DCPs) in strategic locations nationwide to be inspected by the HPG.
In a virtual press briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the HPG has been directed to implement the following measures starting Wednesday to address the reported increase in the number of vehicles traveling along Edsa and other major thoroughfares of Metro Manila:
-Inspection of private vehicles to determine whether the driver and passengers belong to the list of APOR or not.
-If the driver or any of the passengers is not authorized, HPG will issue LTOV [LTO violation receipt] or MMDA OVR [Ordinance Violation Receipt] tickets against the drivers of those private vehicles transporting unauthorized persons outside residence as identified by JTF CV Shield.
“Let us all understand that the ECQ will only be effective in containing Covid-19 if we limit our movements. This is all being done for us and for our families in order to prevent the virus from spreading. We appeal to everyone to please cooperate and as much as possible stay home. Kaya bahay muna, buhay muna (Let’s all stay in our houses for now, our lives come first),” said Nograles, who is also Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) spokesperson.
ECQ violators reach almost 115K
Meanwhile, data from the JTF CV Shield showed there are a total of 114,972 quarantine violators across the country.
Luzon posted the highest number of violators with 69,669, followed by Mindanao with 24,748 and Visayas with 20,555 violators.
According to the report, 82,396 of the 114,972 violators have been given a warning while 5,185 were fined, 6,023 were charged, and 21,368 were arrested and are now facing charges.
Police also nabbed 696 individuals allegedly engaged in hoarding and profiteering activities while 8,207 public transport vehicles were apprehended for violating mass transportation ban.
The JTF CV Shield is the enforcement arm of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). It is composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
The IATF-EID has been regularly updating the APOR based on the continuous discussions with the stakeholders. Matters relating to the movement of people and cargoes that would be agreed upon are forwarded to the JTF CV Shield for implementation. (PNA)