NCRPO identifies checkpoint areas for Metro Manila quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   March 13, 2020   •   5244

MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Friday said it has identified areas in Metro Manila where checkpoints will be put up for the implementation of the month-long community quarantine starting Sunday, March 15.

In an exclusive report on UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita by correspondent Lea Ylagan, the NCRPO said checkpoints will be set up in major thoroughfares, exit and entry points of Metro Manila.

The checkpoints will be manned by police officers with the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The areas which will be monitored by the police and military are as follows:

RADIAL ROADS

  • Radial Road 1 – Roxas Boulevard, Manila–Cavite Expressway; City of Manila–Cavite
  • Radial Road 2 – Taft Avenue in Manila, Aguinaldo Highway in Dasmariñas; City of Manila–Batangas
  • Radial Road 3 – South Luzon Expressway in Muntinlupa, STAR Tollway, Tanauan City, Batangas; City of Manila–Batangas
  • Radial Road 4 – Kalayaan Avenue in Olympia, Makati, Kalayaan Avenue in Fort Bonifacio, Makati; City of Manila–Rizal
  • Radial Road 5 – Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue Extension in Cainta; City of Manila–Laguna
  • Radial Road 6 – Magsaysay Boulevard, Marikina–Infanta Highway in Marikina; City of Manila–Quezon
  • Radial Road 7 – España Boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, City of Manila–Bulacan
  • Radial Road 8 – Dimasalang Street, North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City; City of Manila–La Union
  • Radial Road 9 – Rizal Avenue, MacArthur Highway in Pampanga; City of Manila–La Union
  • Radial Road 10 – Mel Lopez Boulevard; City of Manila–Bataan

The following Circumferential Roads in the cities of Manila, Makati, Malabon, Taguig as well as in Bulacan and Bacoor, Cavite will also be monitored by authorities:

CIRCUMFERENTIAL ROADS

  • Circumferential Road 1 City of Manila
  • Circumferential Road 2 City of Manila
  • Circumferential Road 3 Makati-Navotas–Pasay
  • Circumferential Road 4 Malabon–Pasay
  • Circumferential Road 5 Taguig-Malabon-Parañaque
  • Circumferential Road 6 Marilao, Bulacan-Bacoor, Cavite   

The NCRPO also said that checkpoint areas will also be set up in Expressway networks.

EXPRESSWAY  NETWORKS

  • E1 Quezon City to Rosario, La Union
  • E2 Makati to Batangas City and Muntinlupa to Bacoor
  • E3 Parañaque to Kawit
  • E5 Quezon City to Caloocan
  • E6 Parañaque to Pasay

According to NCRPO director Police Major General Debold Sinas, cops manning the checkpoints will be provided with complete gear to protect them against the virus.  

“Our people will be equipped ng mga needed [gears] kagaya ng mask, gloves, plus we will place police line in all the entry points,” he said.

The military, for its part, said it will provide assistance to the PNP in manning the checkpoints.

“The AFP will be in support to the PNP in terms of manpower. They will lead the checkpoints. We will augment them as necessary,” AFP chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr.  

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday announced that Metro Manila will be placed on community quarantine effective midnight of March 15 until April 14.

The declaration follows the raising of Code Red Sub-level 2 amid rising cases of novel coronavirus infections in the country.

During the month-long quarantine period, land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila are suspended, subject to daily review of the government.

Work in the executive branch and classes in all levels in Metro Manila are also suspended.

Sinas, however, clarified that people from nearby cities and provinces who are working in Metro Manila will still be allowed entry as long as they present proof of employment – such as company ID – in designated checkpoints.

“Karamihan naman dito sa NCR ay hindi taga-NCR e, may taga-Cavite, taga-Bulacan kasi andoon ang mga bahay nila. Siguro, we’ll do the maximum tolerance tapos titingnan lang ang ID tapos pauuwiin kasi kung di mo pauwiin yan e san titira yan dito?” he said.

Private companies, however, are encouraged to implement a flexible work arrangement or a work from home set up for the meantime to protect their employees.

The NCRPO chief also said that the movement of people within Metro Manila will not be restricted as they can still go out to buy food and other necessities.

Mall and shop owners were earlier urged by authorities to continue operations. The delivery of goods and services will also be allowed as long as it follows regulations.

“Pwede naman yung goods and services basta dumaan ka sa checkpoint,” Sinas said.

Under the community quarantine, Foreign nationals from countries with localized COVID-19 transmissions will also be banned from entering the Philippines, except for permanent residents and diplomats.

Authorities said a clearer guidelines will be issued soon on the implementation of the community quarantine.

The Philippines has so far recorded more than 50 confirmed cases with five deaths. – RRD

MGCQ not yet possible in NCR – Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Community quarantine measures may not be relaxed yet in the National Capital Region (NCR), according to National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez.

Galvez said areas with high cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are likely to remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) if the situation will not improve.

He noted the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the NCR and the region’s hospital occupancy has already reached 70% in the past five days.

On July 15, the existing community quarantine measures across the country will lapse and President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the government’s decision as to which quarantine restriction should the NCR be placed beginning July 16.

However, Malacañang said the numbers cannot yet justify Metro Manila’s shift from GCQ to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). 

“Datos po ang tinitingnan natin. Kung tayo po ay magluluwag, siguro po at this point, the data does not indicate na pwedeng magluwag at least sa Metro Manila, para lang po to manage expectations [We are looking into data. If we are to ease (restrictions) at this point, the data does not indicate that we can ease at least in Metro Manila, just to manage expectations],” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Galvez also stressed that even Metro Manila mayors recommended retaining the GCQ in their respective areas or implementing hybrid status which means opening all businesses while observing safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Galvez noted, however, that there are other areas where stricter quarantine restrictions will be imposed starting July 16. 

Mayroon pong nag-escalate, at mga area na ito ay nakita nating nagkaroon ng new cases at spikes [There are areas that escalated. And these areas are where new cases and spikes were reported],” Galvez concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Metro Manila may revert to ECQ if COVID-19 situation worsens — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila may return to stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) if the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation worsens in the capital region.

In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government may possibly reimpose ECQ on Metro Manila if hospitals in the region hit maximum capacity due to surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Pag lumala talaga, at mawalan tayo ng critical care capacity o di kaya ay case doubling rate ay bumalik sa dati na napakabilis, wala po tayong alternatibo,” he said.

“Yun nga po ang pinapakiusap sa ating kababayan, pag tayo bumalik sa mas estriktong quarantine, baka wala na po tayong hanapbuhay na pwedeng gawin,” he added.

Roque issued the statement after the country recorded a record-high 2,434 additional cases on Sunday, bringing the total cases to 44,254. Most of these infections were reported in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine where public transport and some business sectors have been allowed to resume operations at a limited capacity.

It was previously placed under ECQ for more than two months.

The Department of Health earlier said that the spike in infections was due to increased physical contact of the public following the easing of quarantine restrictions.

But Roque said the government had no choice but to loosen the quarantine measures in order to revitalize the economy.

“Wala naman tayong alternatibo kundi magbukas ng ekonomiya… Kung di pa po natin mabubuksan, mamya buhay nga tayo, mamatay naman tayo dahil wala tayong hanapbuhay,” he said.

The Palace official, meanwhile, belied reports that hospitals in Metro Manila have reached full capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Roque said that as of July 5, Metro Manila’s critical care utilization is still at 63 percent or moderate risk level.

He also clarified that many hospitals have yet to breach the 30 percent hospital bed capacity for coronavirus patients.

“Nililinaw po namin na yung mga kumakalat na fake news na ubos na raw po ang hospital beds sa ating mga ospital, di po yan totoo,” he said.

Roque also revealed that Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega has been designated to head the Hospital One Incident Command which will determine the critical care utilization and hospital care capacity rate. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte extends ECQ in Cebu City; GCQ in Metro Manila until July 15

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to extend the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City until July 15, 2020.

The President noted the “stubbornness” of its residents despite strict government protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19. He cited the situation in Talisay City where people tend to ignore social distancing protocols, with some even engaging in drinking sprees and gambling.

Ayaw ninyo maniwala, bakit marami? One of the reasons — even without consulting the Body— because you did not follow rules,” President Duterte said.

“You have the highest. Cebu is now the new hotspot for COVID-19. Bakit? Marami sa inyo ay hindi sumusunod,” he added.

The President expressed concern over the situations in Cebu City which he hopes will improve through the supervision of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the following areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15:

  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Benguet
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte
  • Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion Municipalities in Cebu Province

The President commended the response of residents in the said areas to the government-imposed protocols which helped slow down the rate of COVID-19 infection.

You know Manila, maraming tao but because sumunod nila — with few violations thereabout— we here in Manila have a good chance of at least avoiding it,” he said.

To save the economy, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguz recommended to the President the further relaxing of quarantine measures in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region. 

The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) specifically those identified as moderate and low risk areas where localized community quarantine and minimum health standards may strictly be observed. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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