MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Police General Guillermo Eleazar, has directed police forces to ensure the strict implementation of public health protocols in public utility vehicles (PUV) amid the continuing threat of COVID-19.
Eleazar said police forces, particularly from the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and those assigned to man border control points have already been instructed to issue traffic violation tickets to the operators and drivers of PUVs especially at the National Capital Region and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, and Cavite.
“We will be very strict in the implementation of this as part of our efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Kaya pinapaalalahanan natin ang mga operator at driver ng mga pampublikong sasakyan na umayos kayo kung ayaw ninyong mahuli,” Eleazar said in a statement.
Under a memorandum issued to the Director of the HPG and the Regional Directors of NCRPO, PRO3, and PRO4A, violators will be issued with temporary operators permit (TOPs), official violator’s receipt (OVR), and traffic citation tickets.
“This pertains to the reports received by the Directorate (for Operations), which disclosed unabated incidents of overloading, violations of minimum public health standards, and violations of allowed passenger capacity as prescribed by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and DoTr’s guidelines committed by public utility buses and jeepneys, particularly in NCR Plus areas,” the memorandum read.
Eleazar said those manning the quarantine control points in Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces will be provided with the TOPs, OVRs and TCTs since part of their job is to check if the passing PUVs are complying with the rules on allowed passenger capacity and the minimum public health standards.
These tickets will be issued if policemen would accost any passenger who does not properly wear face masks, and if the PUVs are carrying passengers more than the maximum allowed passengers, he added.
HPG personnel, on the other hand, will be conducting random checks in Metro Manila and nearby provinces and were tasked to do the same.
Aside from the issuance of citation tickets, police forces manning the border control points will also inspect all passing buses and jeepneys to ensure that the no travel policy on non-APOR (Authorized Persons Outside Residence) is implemented.
“So we are appealing to the drivers to ensure that their passengers are complying with these rules dahil kayo ang magdudusa kapag nahuli kayo. Kayo ang boss ng mga bus at jeepney na minamaneho ninyo kaya obligasyon ninyo na tiyakin na sumusunod sa mga patakaran ang inyong mga pasahero,” Eleazar said.