Gamboa: GCQ for ekonomya, not for lakwatsa

ALL Philippine National Police security preparations are in place to ensure peace and order as Metro Manila and other parts of the country shift to General Community Quarantine today,  PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said.

The official said his men are under orders to ensure that wearing of face masks and social distancing and other quarantine protocols will be fully observed in transport stations, shopping malls and trains, buses and other public and private motor vehicles as part of the government’s effort to prevent further spread of the killer COVID-19 virus.

Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar expressed their full readiness to respond to any situation as Metro Manila shift to GCQ from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

The official also announced the rules on the movement of people under the GCQ approved by President Duterte and Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año which they will be fully implementing.

He said the rules aim to inform and guide the people on the health safety protocols that must still be observed as some people may misinterpret the GCQ implementation to mean that they would already enjoy freedom of travel and movement like the way they do before the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“As President Duterte repeatedly said, our lives will never be normal again unless the COVID-19 vaccine is discovered and be made available to the public. While the Filipinos and the people around the world are waiting for that vaccine, we appeal for understanding if we still have to restrict some of the freedoms that our people enjoyed before,” Eleazar said.

According to him, indispensable travels relating to medical and family emergencies do not require Travel Authority from the JTF COVID Shield under GCQ if; 1. The travel is within the province, and 2.

The travel is within Metro Manila.

Travels involving two provinces require Travel Authority from the JTF COVID Shield, he however said.

The requirements for the issuance of the Travel Authority are as follows:

1.    Certification from the Punong Barangay that the person who wants to travel has not developed any COVID-19 symptoms at least 14 days before the travel request. The Certification from the Punong Barangay will serve as an endorsement to the City and Municipal Health Office to conduct medical examination;

2.    Medical Clearance Certificate from the City or Municipal Health Office.

Note well that Medical Clearance Certificate is needed to secure a Travel Authority. There are two options that could be availed of in seeking for Travel Authority once the Medical Clearance Certificate is secured:

1.    The Medical Clearance Certificate could be submitted to the Punong Barangay, who in turn, would facilitate the processing which includes coordination with the LGU of destination; or

2.    The Medical Clearance Certificate could be submitted to the Help Desk of the Municipal or City Police Station. Personnel of the Help Desk, under the authority of the Chief of Police will be in charge of the processing which includes coordination with the LGU of destination through the local police station.

Eleazar said that once the Travel Authority is approved, the police personnel manning the Help Desk would notify the person to pick up the hard copy of the Travel Authority, or, the Travel Authority could be sent via e-mail or any messaging apps like Messenger or Viber.

For more information about the issuance of Travel Authority, PLt.Gen. Eleazar said the public can contact the JTF COVID Shield via these hotlines: 0998-849-0013 for Smart users and 0917-538-2495 for Globe users, and PNP Helpline 16677.

The JTF CoViD Shield can also be reached through its email address: ncovmonitoring@gmail.com.

Eleazar said policemen and soldiers manning the QCPs were all briefed about the travel protocols and, thus, aware if the person is just making an alibi for the unauthorized travels.

“Our Chief PNP has instructed the policemen manning the checkpoints to exercise maximum tolerance so we appeal to the people to respect them at least by obeying the quarantine rules,” he added.

Eleazar said the lifting of community quarantine restrictions was approved purposely to partially re-open the economy. “Lagi po nating tatandaan na ang GCQ ay inaprubahan para po sa ating ekonomiya, hindi po para tayo ay mag-lakwatsa,” he said