PNP to continue checkpoints in MECQ areas

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue manning checkpoints in areas that have been placed under the less restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from April 12 to April 30, including the NCR Plus that is made up of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

According to PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, the police force chief Gen. Debold Sinas convened a meeting on Sunday morning prior to the announcement of the downgrading of these areas to MECQ from enhanced community quarantine, effective Monday.

“Adjustments indeed have been discussed and settled for the MECQ implementation. The NCR Plus bubble will be kept under check. The essential travelers will be allowed 100 percent while non-essential travelers may be limited to certain percentage according to establishments but not more than 50 percent,” Usana said in a statement.

According to him, a curfew will remain in place and compliance with the minimum public health standards (MPHS) will continue to be enforced.

“Checkpoints in boundaries will remain. Still, no arrests shall be made by the PNP on violations of MPHS. Only warning and fines. Mass gathering is still not allowed,” Usana said, adding that malls are allowed to open but only for the selling of essential items.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte decided to downgrade the restriction after more public and private hospitals committed to provide rooms and beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients.

Besides NCR (National Capital Region) Plus, also under MECQ are the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino province in Region 2, and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Cagayan, Isabela, and Nueva Vizcaya (Region 2 or Cagayan Valley); Quezon and Batangas (Region 4-A or Calabarzon); Tacloban City (Region 8 or Eastern Visayas); Iligan City (Region 10 or Northern Mindanao); Davao City (Region 11 or Davao Region); and Lanao del Sur (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) will be under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The rest of the Philippines will be under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Meanwhile, Usana said Sinas has instructed police personnel manning checkpoints to undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests from time to time to prevent contagion among the lawmen.

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