RIDERS and patrol crews from the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) are now in the forefront of securing cargo vehicles passing along major thoroughfares in Luzon to ensure they would reach their market on time for the benefit of all who are experiencing the national crisis, the commander of the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield told the Journal Group.
According to PNP Deputy Chief for Operations and JTV CV Shield commander, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the PNP-HPG headed by Brigadier Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz will ensure that vans, trucks and other motor vehicles carrying basic products including perishable goods like meat, fish and vegetables will be given unhampered passage thru Quarantine Control Points in Luzon.
The PNP-HPG has 17 regional units across the country including the National Capital Region Highway Patrol Unit and Regional Highway Patrol Units 1,2,3-4-A, 4-B and 5 in Luzon who will provide assistance to cargo vehicles traveling in major thoroughfares in the region.
At present, there are 10 expressways in the country that connect Metro Manila to northern and southern Luzon including the North Luzon Expressway, South Luzon Expressway, Manila-Cavite Expressway, Metro Manila Skyway, NAIA Expressway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road or STAR Tollway, Subic-Tipo Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway and EDSA.
Other major thoroughfares include Marcos Highway and Kennon Road in Benguet and Baguio City, the Pan-Philippine Highway also known as Daang Maharlika, the country’s longest highway which stretches from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte to Zamboanga City and passes by the Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte and the Halsema Highway or the Benguet-Mountain Province Road.
Eleazar said that with the establishment of Dedicated Control Points or DCPs which will be manned by PNP-HPG personnel, all vehicles carrying cargoes like trucks, vans, pick-up and jeepneys will be exempted from being flagged down or checked at the Quarantine Control Points or QCPs.
“The objective here is to ensure that deliveries of food and other basic goods are not subjected to unnecessary and redundant inspections which are the usual reason of the delay,” he explained.
The inspection of cargo vehicles will only be done at the DCPs, and only if necessary.
“HPG units were also given the leeway to set up DCPs in areas which they deem strategic, it does not necessarily mean that the DCPs will only be set up on provincial boundaries,” the JTF Covid-19 Shield commander said.
“But what is important is this rule: Cargo vehicles will only be inspected at HPG-manned and HPG-supervised Dedicated Control Points, and inspection will only be done if necessary. These cargo vehicles must not be flagged down or inspected at the QCPs,” he stressed.
Eleazar said that PNP chief, Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa approved their recommendation to tap the PNP-HPG in securing and inspecting cargo vehicles and seeing to it that they would deliver on time and ensure that markets, groceries and their other end-users won’t run out of stocks during the national crisis brought about by the deadly COVID-19 virus.
The JTF COVID-19 Shield task force commander said that with the approval of Gen. Gamboa, officers and men of the PNP-HPG will now be escorting cargoes travelling along major thoroughfares in Luzon to allow them easy passage from QCPs and enable them to reach their destination on time during the Enhanced Community Quarantine period.