Manila Bulletin

PNP orders police chiefs to check travel protocols of LGUs


Police commanders around the country have been instructed to determine the travel protocols that will be implemente­d in their respective areas after some local government units (LGUs) have requested to maintain the status quo in requiring travel authority especially for Locally Stranded Individual­s (LSIs) and those who are not included in the list of those who are exempted from home quarantine, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield said on Monday.

LGUs were given two options of travel protocol — the Restricted Policy wherein travelers entering an LGU will still present a Travel Authority, or the Unrestrict­ed Policy wherein LGUs will implement the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

The IATF-MEID approved last week a resolution easing the restrictio­ns for local travels in any part of the country in a bid to revive the economy that was severely affected by the lockdown measures due to the threat of the coronaviru­s disease (COVID-19).

While the restrictio­ns were eased, JTF COVID Shield commander Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said that the LGUs are still given the discretion to implement reasonable regulation­s of the LGUs, especially if there are existing local quarantine rules.

Eleazar said a number of local chief executives (LCEs) are also requesting the national government to give them enough time to adjust to the decision in order to ensure that their areas and constituen­ts are well-prepared in complying with the efforts of the national government to re-open the economy by allowing even non-essential travels that include tourism purposes.

“We fully understand the concerns of the Local Chief Executives during our meeting, and we appreciate and support the level of awareness and response they have been doing in the past months to protect their respective areas and their constituen­ts from the COVID19,” Eleazar said.

“So we will leave it to the discretion of the LGUs the implementa­tion of the travel restrictio­ns especially for those who are not included in the list of the Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) and the Locally Stranded Individual­s (LSIs). The JTF COVID Shield, in coordinati­on with our Chief PNP General Cascolan, will assist our LGUs in the implementa­tion of their local quarantine rules,” he added.

In a press statement, the League of Provinces of the Philippine­s (LPP) headed by Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco stressed the need to implement the local quarantine rules to protect their respective constituen­ts from potential coronaviru­s carriers that will enter their areas.

Velasco, however, assured that they will continue to receive returning or repatriate­d overseas Filipino workers and LSIs provided that the non-APORs and the LSIs will comply with the basic travel requiremen­t — the Travel Authority, Medical Clearance Certificat­e, and prior coordinati­on between the point of origin LGU and the receiving LGU.

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