LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Apr.5(PIA) - - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered the dismantling of barangay checkpoints installed along national and provincial roads established by the local government units to allow the smooth flow of traffic and unhampered movement of goods and essential commodities during imposition of the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine.
This following the complaints particularly of cargo carriers of goods and essential commodities that these barangay checkpoints have been making their travel longer. Cargo carriers though still have to pass through established Philippine National Police checkpoints and follow procedures in line with the ECQ.
DILG Cordillera Regional Director Marlo Iringan recently issued an advisory based on the directive of the President and the national IATF (Inter-agency Task Force for COVID-190) that 'all barangay checkpoints in all national highways and provincial roads shall be removed as they impede the movement of goods and essential commodities in defiance of IATF guidelines."
Truckers transporting vegetables to Manila and other areas welcome this directive.
Many LGUs established strategic barangay checkpoints as a measure to regulate movement to prevent the entry of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in their respective areas.
Barangay checkpoints do not have the authority to inspect cargo vehicles carrying goods and other essential commodities. Only the PNP personnel are allowed to inspect cargo trucks, Iringan said.
He clarified that even with the order of dismantling of said barangay checkpoints, these can still be maintained for so long as it is authorized, supervised and monitored by the PNP.
The function of barangay checkpoints is focused mainly in ensuring that people who go outside their residences have the necessary quarantine passes issued by competent authority, Iringan said. The barangay checkpoint does not need to be a physical barrier, it can be a waiting shed, he added.
Meanwhile, Iringan reminded truckers that they are required to present health declaration form to be secured from respective barangays, company ID card for driver including two helpers. They will also be subjected to health protocols like thermal scanning and should practice social and physical distancing at all times. Food lane pass is still required to be presented to the PNP checkpoints.
He enjoined everyone to cooperate in this fight against COVID-19. "Hindi lang ito laban ng mga national government agencies, ng mga LGUs. Laban lahat natin ito. Kailangan pagtulungan natin itong lahat. (This is not the fight of the national government agencies nor LGUS. This is our fight. We need the help of everyone.) We listen to the instructions advisories of our authorities and we just stay inside our houses. This is our way of helping in combatting the COVID-19 the soonest." (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)