Filipinos authorized to leave their homes will no longer be required to show quarantine passes once the National Capital Region shifts to a general community quarantine (GCQ), Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the police head of the Joint Task Force COVID-19, said today.
Speaking on ABS-CBN’s internet radio show Teleradyo, Eleazar told host Ted Failon, “A [quarantine pass] is no longer required, Mr. Ted. We all know that in a GCQ more people will be allowed to go out, either those belonging to the workforce of permitted industries or if you will buy goods and services.”
However, he said those shopping for food and other essentials are discouraged from traveling to other towns to purchase what they need.
“If you are going to buy goods and services, basically you still have to buy them in your area, within your localities. You cannot cross to faraway places…Someone from Caloocan shouldn’t go to Makati. That is not allowed,” he said in English and Filipino.
“I hope you would still stay inside your homes if you don’t really need to go out. Like what we have said, this is partially reopening the economy and we want [to allow the public] to purchase goods and services, but we still need to follow guidelines and people have to observe physical distancing and wearing of face masks,” Eleazar added.
Filipinos aged 21 to 59 years old are allowed to leave their homes during the GCQ, including those working in industries such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food manufacturing, telecommunications, and media.
Checkpoints have been set up in different areas to ensure that quarantine guidelines are being followed, but Eleazar said they have modified their policies because the police force does not have enough people on the ground to inspect all vehicles.
“There are more people who are out, there are more vehicles, especially in Metro Manila. It will be a challenge for us to implement. What we are doing now is a modified checkpoint because it’s not practical for us to check on all cars on the road. What we are doing now is a random checkpoint…but when we check you and you committed a violation, we will arrest you,” he threatened.
Metro Manila, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases, is currently under the modified enhanced community quarantine. The national government’s anti-coronavirus task force has recommended that it should be placed under the more lenient GCQ from June 1 to 15.
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