The Philippine National Police (PNP) is studying the removal of quarantine checkpoints within Metro Manila. Checkpoints have been a constant sight in the National Capital Region (NCR) since the pandemic. If the PNP makes the decision and they get their way, motorists may not have to deal with them for much longer.
In a televised news report on Sunday, PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar explained that checkpoints contribute to heavy traffic in the metro amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Eleazar further explained that it is known and accepted that checkpoints cause traffic. As a result, the PNP has adapted to this and has deployed random checking procedures.
The General also pointed out that removing checkpoints can allow police personnel to help with other crucial duties. These include quality control points, vaccination sites, and social amelioration program (SAP) distribution centers.
The Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG), however, is opposed to the idea. On Monday, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya countered that the removal of checkpoints in Metro Manila can negatively impact ECQ implementation. He also added that checkpoints are necessary for enforcing curfew hours and other health and safety regulations. Despite the department's opposition, Malaya said that the DILG will coordinate with the PNP to discuss their concerns.
Metro Manila has been under ECQ, the strictest quarantine classification, since August 6. Under ECQ status, only essential industries and establishments are allowed to operate. These include hospitals, grocery stores, convenience stores, courier services, food delivery services, business process outsourcing companies, and some manufacturing companies.
Several industries and establishments are allowed to operate with a skeletal workforce, including banks, schools, medical clinics, power services, internet service providers, water and sanitation services, and some legal services.
Due to quarantine checkpoints and limited public transportation, changes in traffic are expected. We advise motorists to plan their trips ahead of time and be ready for any unexpected developments. If traveling in and out of Metro Manila, there are alternative routes you can take, including the Skyway and other expressways.