Eleazar tells APORs: Don’t abuse MECQ travel exemption

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020   •   144

MANILA, Philippines – The Joint Task Force COVID (JTF CV) Shield has reminded authorized persons outside residence (APOR) that their travel exemption during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is limited and that they should not abuse the privilege given them.

JTF CV Shield commander, Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar issued the reminder following reports from various quarantine control points about APORs, or those bearing identification cards issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, using their passes to violate the strict quarantine rule on non-essential travel.

“Lumalabas sila na hindi naman work-related, ang basic kasing guidelines d’yan is ‘yung travel mo is that galing ka sa bahay mo papunta sa pagta-trabahuhan mo at tsaka pabalik and then p’wede naman na ‘yung presence mo sa labas ay part ng trabaho natin,” he said.

“Unless nasa labas ka para mag-avail or bibili ng mga produkto or itong mga essential goods na kailangan mo. In that case you have to avail that within your locality either do’n sa lugar kung saan ka nakatira or maaari naman na sa lugar kung saan ka nagta-trabaho or doon sa ruta na dinadaanan mo,” he added.

IATF IDs and rapid pass are issued to groups or employees whose nature of job is classified as essential to provide basic needs and services of people required to stay at home.

People given exemptions during community quarantine are listed as authorized persons outside residence (APOR). To be listed as APOR, they must be working as front-liners in the fight against the coronavirus disease or working for industries permitted to operate by the government.

Their presence outside of their homes and their travels must also be work-related.

Eleazar said that use of IATF IDs and rapid pass other than the stated reasons is a violation of quarantine protocols.

He added that he already directed police commanders and officers manning checkpoints to scrutinize IDs and other documents presented to them in order to determine whether or not the travel is work-related.

“Pag check mo kasi sa APOR, ano ba ang katunayan? ID, and then from the ID naman p’wedeng ma-establish du’n kung saan s’ya nakatira at saan s’ya nagta trabaho at saan ang location ng checkpoint,” he said.

“Essential worker ang media at APOR s’ya kung s’ya ay nasa labas at nasa trabaho s’ya o pupunta ng trabaho. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na ikaw ay media at may IATF card ka, p’wede mong gamitin ‘yun kahit saan ka pumunta, sa mga probinsya, hindi dapat gano’n ‘yun,” he added.

The JTF CV Shield is the National Task Force on COVID-19 and IATF’s arm in enforcing quarantine protocols. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Iloilo City placed under MECQ from Sept. 25 until Oct. 9

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo City has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective September 25 until October 9 due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque the new measure is based on the issued Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 74 which also requires facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.

However, the resolution exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities as confirmed by the local health officer.

Another exception would be when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

On Tuesday (September 22), 33 employees of the Iloilo City Hall tested positive for COVID-19 prompting the three-day temporary closure of the establishment beginning Wednesday (September 23) as declared by Mayor Jerry Treñas in Executive Order No. 215-A.

Prior to that, 13 barangays in the city were placed under total lockdown due to the increase in community transmission of COVID-19.

16 quarantine violators in Taguig City nabbed through Joint TF COVID Shield’s social media account

Marje Pelayo   •   September 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A report made through the Facebook page of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield led to the arrest of 16 individuals in Taguig City.

Acting on a tip-off posted on the social medial account of the JTF CV Shield, authorities were able to track down the violators in a drinking session at a birthday party.

JTF COVID Shield Commander PLt.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they were arrested for violating the government-imposed health protocols. 

“When police personnel went there, those who attended the birthday celebration were not wearing face masks and not observing social distancing,” Guillermo said.

They were held at the barangay basketball court and later released after six hours.

They are now facing charges for violation of city ordinance on drinking in public places and violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code on resistance and disobedience to a person in authority. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Bacolod City, Lanao del Sur placed under MECQ until Sept. 30

Marje Pelayo   •   September 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (September 7) placed Bacolod City and Lanao del Sur under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from September 8 to 30.

Duterte approved the recommendation of National COVID-19 response Chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. following reported increase in number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the said areas.

“We recommended to the IATF for the upgrading of Lanao del Sur as MECQ considering it is contagious to Iligan City and its cases also rising up,” Galvez told the President during Monday’s meeting.

“Based on the recommendation of the NTF, with consultation of Bacolod City, the cases of Bacolod City are much higher than Iligan City which is also MECQ. We will recommend Bacolod City be placed under MECQ as recommended by the IATF,” he added.

Other than Bacolod City and Lanao del Sur, Iligan City is also under MECQ until September 30.

Meanwhile, the President believes that the Philippines has already flattened the curve of COVID-19 infection which he credited to the public’s obedience to health measures imposed by the government.

He, however, advised the public to remain vigilant and always adhere to health protocols to further eliminate COVID-19 transmission.

“Remember that the lessening of contamination wala na masyadong tao nagkaroon ng COVID is not because COVID-19, the germ, is gone,” he said.

“It is there floating around us. Kaya lang ang mga tao sumunod na. Hindi humawak, alcohol kaagad. The mask was one important factor,” he said.

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