Quarantine passes not needed under GCQ

Quarantine pass

STARTING June 1, 2020, the public will no longer need quarantine passes when leaving their residences under the general community quarantine (GCQ) unless the Local Government Units require it in critical and buffer zones or when required by local conditions.

Those who need to cross to another province are also required to secure a travel pass except for work-related undertakings, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

“Hindi na po natin kailangan ng quarantine pass para payagang makalabas sa ating bahay pero hindi po ito ‘unli’ na kahit anong oras ay puwede.  Patuloy pa rin po ang pagpapatupad ng curfew hours ng ating mga local government units (LGUs) at puwede rin pong i-require ang quarantine pass ng mga LGUs sa piling lugar sa kanilang nasasakupan,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.

Año said that the purpose of lifting the requirement for quarantine passes and easing restrictions is to be able to slowly restart our economy from the more than two-month enhanced community quarantine imposed in many areas of the country without compromising health protocols.

“The country’s economy is hurting badly, many businesses have closed down and our people are finding it difficult to fend for their families having no source of income for the past two months.  We need to reopen the economy without setting aside health protocols if we want to survive this pandemic as a people,” he said.

Año said the easing of restrictions in Metro Manila and in other areas in the country means those under GCQ will now see many industries opening up to its 100% functionality, but this does not mean that everything is back to normal.

“Although some restrictions will be relaxed, this does not mean that we can all go out leisurely and go about our day. Alamin pa rin natin kung ang dahilan ba ng inyong paglabas ay essential pa rin at hindi para mamasyal lang,” he said.

The DILG Chief said, however, that LGUs may still require quarantine passes in “high-risk” barangays known as critical zones and buffer zones that they are monitoring and doing contact-tracing activities.

“The general rule is hindi na kailangan ng quarantine pass pero may authority pa rin ang LGU na mag-impose ng lockdown at magrequire ng quarantine pass sa mga barangay or subdivision na sa assessment nila ay high-risk pa rin.  Mayors should, therefore, announce thru their official social media accounts or whatever means kung required pa rin ang quarantine pass sa ilang lugar sa kanila,” he said.

Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said going across provinces and other regions across the country would still require travel passes which can be applied at the help desk of the nearest Philippine National Police (PNP) station provided he has a medical certificate from the Municipal/City Health Office.

“Kung tatawid ng provincial or regional borders, ibang usapan na po iyon at kailangan na ng travel pass d’yan.  Nasa public health emergency pa rin tayo and the government still needs to control the movement of people para hindi kumalat ang virus,” he said.

Exempted from travel passes are those who need to cross provincial and regional borders to pursue work-related matters, according to Malaya.  “In such cases, they only need to present their company ID or documents from their office or company justifying the reason for such travel,” he said.

Malaya said the Philippine National Police will also set-up random checkpoints across Metro Manila but will impose stricter control on regional and provincial borders.

The Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) will conduct random and mobile checkpoints through its “Oplan Habol” and “Oplan Sita” where motorcycle-riding patrollers roam around to check for “unauthorized persons outside residence” (UPOR) or violators in private vehicles, different from the usual fixed checkpoints.

“Depending on the discretion of the PNP commanders on the ground, we can have lesser fixed checkpoints and adjust the mobile checkpoints,” he said.

“Muli ay nakikiusap kami sa publiko na sumunod na lamang po sa ipinag-uutos ng LGUs at national government.  Ang mga ipinapatupad naman po nating panuntunan ay para sa kapakanan ng ating lahat,” he said.

“Huwag po tayong magpabaya at magrelax. 

Sundin pa rin po natin ang health protocols na palagiang paghuhugas ng kamay, pagsuot ng mask at physical distancing.  Ang iniiwasan po natin ay bumalik tayo sa square one at lumobo ulit ang mga kaso ng Covid-19,” he added.