MANILA – As part of stricter implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the police commanders in the provinces have been directed to check on all private vehicles for possible violations of home quarantine amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield commander, announced this on Sunday as the task force moved to expand the operations to the entire country amid violations of the ECQ guidelines.

Eleazar said Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa has already authorized regional directors to come up with measures to ensure that home quarantine and social distancing are observed at all times.

“The expansion of the operations against these private vehicles which may have Unauthorized Persons Outside Residence (UPOR) inside is part of our Chief PNP’s order to further intensify measures against these hardheaded people,” said Eleazar, also Deputy Chief for Operations of the PNP, said in a statement.

Once established that the private vehicles are driven by or carrying UPOR and were out on non-essential travels, Eleazar said policemen could issue temporary operator’s permit (TOP) or ordinance violation receipt (OVR) and other citation tickets to the drivers.

“All the violators should be penalized,” he said.

Only those considered as authorized persons outside residence (APOR) will be allowed to pass the quarantine control points (QCPs)

The task force established a total of 115 dedicated control points (DCPs) in strategic locations nationwide to be inspected by the High Patrol Group (HPG).

Eleazar tasked the PNP-HPG last week to conduct mobile checkpoints on Edsa and other major roads in Metro Manila and likewise deploy motorcycle-riding policemen to run after private vehicles amid the sudden influx of cars plying Metro Manila.

HPG director, Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz said more than 100 motorists have been apprehended for violating the ECQ guideline on home quarantine.

“We will continuously do this to send a message that we are serious in the implementation of home quarantine and social distancing. So, we are warning private car owners and drivers of non-cargo vehicles not to engage in non-essential travels because they will certainly be apprehended,” Cruz said.

The HPG together with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) issued citation tickets to private motorists composed of TOP and OVR for being UPOR in relation to the strict implementation of Covid-19 ECQ.

Cruz reminded private motorists, who are not front-liners, to just stay at home.

“PNP-HPG and MMDA will continue to enforce the provisions of the Extended ECQ on erring motorists and other road users to deny the spread of Covid-19 in our roads,” he said.

Eleazar said that he had already tasked Cruz to conduct the operations on a daily basis especially in Metro Manila where most of the violations occur.

Aside from running after private vehicles and other non-cargo vehicles on non-essential travels, Eleazar said the HPG were also tasked to conduct surprise operations on areas where home quarantine and social distancing rules are violated by bystanders and local residents.

“We will be using our Mobile Command Center (MCC) in monitoring and intelligence-gathering of areas where ECQ rules, especially on home quarantine and social distancing are not observed,” Eleazar said.

The MCC is a self-contained and integrated command and control vehicle equipped with advanced technologies on audio and video communication that includes drones.

Eleazar warned that all those who would be apprehended will be charged either through the electronic inquest, or e-inquest, of the Department of Justice or through regular filing. (PNA)

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