ALL existing rules and regulations pertaining to the movement of Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs) and Unauthorized Persons Outside of Residence (UPORs) set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases remain in effect and will be strictly enforced by the Joint Task Force COVID-19, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said yesterday.
To set the record straight on the protocols on travel, the JTF COVID Shield commander said the following travel rules remain:
For APORs: There is no need for a Travel Authority if the travel in any part of the country is work-related; APORs however, must show a valid identification card and/or any document proving that their travel is work-related in order to be allowed to pass at the Quarantine Control Points (QCPs), or border control checkpoints;
If the travel is by air or by sea, the APOR must secure a Medical Clearance Certificate that should be shown to the airport and seaport authorities, except if the sea travel is a short island-to-island travel in a province or a region and that the APOR has been doing the travel as part of his/her daily work routine; and lastly, the travel of APORs is always subject to the rules and regulations of the receiving Local Government Units or LGUs.
For Locally Stranded Persons (LSI) and Emergency Travelers: All LSIs and Emergency Travelers must secure a Travel Authority if the travel involves crossing the border of Metro Manila, a province, and a Highly-Urbanized City or HUC; and that the travel of LSIs and Emergency Travelers is subject to the rules and regulations of the receiving LGUs.
Eleazar said that in order to secure a Travel Authority, the following must be accomplished: A Medical Clearance Certificate from the City or Municipal Health Office; the Medical Clearance Certificate must be submitted to the City or Municipal Task Force on COVID-19 through the Local Police Help Desks;
That coordination will be made by the City or Municipal task force with the receiving LGUs for the date of the travel; and that the City or Municipal Task Force on COVID-19, through the local police where the application for travel is submitted, will release the Travel Authority indicating the date of the travel and other pertinent details.
Lt. Gen. Eleazar earlier warned the public regarding a disinformation drive on social media which he said intends to completely mislead and confuse the public on the existing quarantine protocols in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
The official said the disinformation is through a social card being circulated on social media which apparently attempts to make it appear that the National Task Force on COVID-19 has already lifted all restrictions for all travels of the people now that most part of the country are already under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
The social card used an old photo of Eleazar in an apparent effort to make it appear that the announcement written on it is an official proclamation from the JTF COVID Shield which is the implementing arm of the NTF on COVID-19.
Lt. Gen. Eleazar explained that the social card did not come from the JTF COVID Shield and was exactly the same social card that was circulated a few months ago.
“We encourage our netizens to be responsible in what they post and share. We must only rely on legitimate sources especially if it is related to the COVID-19. This kind of disinformation is dangerous because it involves the safety of our kababayan from this deadly coronavirus,” said the official.“On the part of the JTF COVID Shield, we will continue focusing on our job of saving as many Filipinos from infection through the strict enforcement of quarantine rules which is our focal mandate. And part of it is to fight any disinformation that compromises the safety of our people,” he added.
Eleazar said this is the reason why they immediately issued a correction and a warning to the public as soon as they monitored the misleading social card on Tuesday.
He stressed that fake news spreading in the social media, particularly announcements being attributed to the government, must be immediately corrected because of the speed and magnitude of its impact on the people especially in this time of pandemic.
“Let us just work together to help Duterte in his earnest and sheer efforts to shield the Filipino people, our nation, from the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.