The Joint Task Force Covid Shield on Monday ordered all police commanders to coordinate with their respective local government units (LGUs) regarding travel protocols as the country gradually reopens the economy.
In a press statement, task force commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that while the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has eased movement restrictions, the lifting of travel protocols is still subject to reasonable regulations of the LGUs, especially if there are existing local quarantine rules.
He said a number of local chief executives (LCEs) are asking the national government to give them enough time to make their own adjustments to ensure that their constituents are ready to comply with health and safety measures despite the easing of quarantine restrictions.
“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 coronavirus disease (Covid-19). So we will leave to the discretion of the LGUs the implementation of the travel restrictions especially 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, Gen. Camilo Cascolan, will assist our LGUs in the implementation of their local quarantine rules,” he added.
In a statement, the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) headed by Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco stressed the need to implement local quarantine rules to protect their respective constituents from potential Covid-19 carriers that would enter their areas.
Velasco, however, assured that they will continue to receive overseas Filipino workers, returning overseas Filipinos, and LSIs, provided that the non-APORs and LSIs would comply with the basic travel requirement — presenting a travel authority to ensure that their travel is properly coordinated between the LGU of origin and the receiving LGU.
Last week, the government under IATF Resolution No. 79 allowed persons 15 to 65 years old to go out of their homes as well as the interzonal movement of non-APORs between areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ for any purpose shall be permitted subject to the reasonable regulations imposed by the LGU concerned.
“In the meantime, there would be a status quo on the implementation of the travel restrictions unless certain LGUs signify intention to immediately comply with the IATF’s ‘unrestricted policy’ on travel,” said Eleazar.
The JTF Covid Shield official said all police commanders were also instructed to immediately report the decision of their respective LGUs in connection with the policy for the information of the public. (PNA)