‘Tiny bubbles’ to remain in NCR under MECQ – Eleazar
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday said “consumer” Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) in Metro Manila will still not be allowed to travel outside of their respective city or municipality during the enforcement of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar said restrictions will still be the same for consumer-APORs, explaining that only one APOR per household is allowed to go out to avail of goods and services during non-curfew hours. APORs must also carry with them the quarantine passes issued by their respective local government unit (LGU).
He added that in the case of Metro Manila, the concept of “tiny bubbles” will still be applied, meaning, each of the NCR’s 16 cities and the Municipality of Pateros will maintain border control points, or Quarantine Control Points to be manned and supervised by police officers.
“Consumer-APORs are then advised to avail of the goods and services within their respective cities,” said Eleazar.
However, in a follow-up statement, Eleazar said it will still depend on the LGUs if they will enforce the quarantine pass system for APORs in their respective areas.
“In this regard, I instructed all police commanders in Metro Manila to coordinate with their respective LGUs to determine if they would be using the quarantine pass system for the Consumer-APOR for the proper guidance and information of our personnel on the ground,” Eleazar said.
“But just the same, the PNP will not allow consumer-APORs to cross borders just to avail of the goods and services of the permitted industries and businesses that are allowed to operate under the MECQ. Instead, they should do so within their respective localities or cities,” he added.
Metro Manila’s curfew hours under the MECQ are from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Metro Manila was placed under MECQ until the end of August after being under lockdown or the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to August 20.
Unlike the last MECQ implemented in April this year, however, additional guidelines were issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, especially with more transmissible variants of COVID-19 emerging.
“Ano ang pagkakaiba sa MECQ ngayon sa katatapos pa lang na ECQ? Ngayon ay nagdagdagan ang mga permitted industries and establishments na puwedeng mag-operate at ang ibig sabihin nito, madadagdagan ang Worker-APORs na lalabas,” said Eleazar.
(What is the difference between today’s MECQ and the recently concluded ECQ? Now there are more permitted industries and establishments that can operate and this means, Worker-APORs outdoors will increase.)
“Kung dati ay may alfresco dining, or yung outdoor dining services, sa MECQ ngayon ay hindi po allowed yun at kung dati ay may religious gathering na ang venue capacity ay hanggang 10 percent, ngayon at hindi pinapayagan ito. Online services ang ating mga religious activities under today’s MECQ,” he added.
(If before there was alfresco dining, or outdoor dining services, now that is not allowed; and if before there was a religious gathering with a venue capacity of up to 10 percent, now it is also not allowed. Only online services will be allowed for religious activities under today’s MECQ.)
Eleazar said he reiterated the additional rules on MECQ in order to avoid confusion and misunderstanding as some people would misinterpret the new quarantine status to mean that they could already leave their respective cities or municipality.
He then appealed for understanding on the restrictions, saying it is the decision of the IATF that the PNP has to implement for the sake of public safety.
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