Travel authority

July 02, 2020

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID-19 Shield fully support President Duterte’s efforts to address the corona virus problem, which has rendered the world helpless.

It is no wonder, therefore, that the 205,000-strong PNP and the JTF have expressed strong opposition to the proposed scrapping of the issuance of Travel Authority (TA) to people wishing to cross borders.

They said such a move would trigger the flow of countless people who may be carriers of the corona virus and jeopardize the government’s ongoing efforts to prevent the further spread of the dreaded disease.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa has ordered his police commanders nationwide to defer the issuance of TAs to locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) in their areas, who are bound to Eastern Visayas.

JTF COVID-19 Shield commander Lt/Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar maintained that the issuance of TAs is one of the main weapons of the government in preventing the spread of the unseen virus.

Respected by the Filipino people, particularly the ordinary citizens across the country, the articulate and highly-effective Eleazar said there are still a lot of COVID-19-free local government units (LGUs).

That’s why we really have to understand the efforts of these LGUs to protect their constituents from incoming travelers.

Like other well-meaning people, we agree with the strict but fair task force commander that stopping the issuance of TAs would practically render the quarantine protocols useless.

Others said anti-COVID-19 measures could be negated by allowing an individual to cross borders without securing Travel Authority from the PNP, which is civilian in nature but national in scope.

We will not only be drawing the ire of the people, we likewise contradict our commitment to help in halting the further spread of the virus, which originated from Wuhan, China.