THE police caught about 7,000 violators during the first day implementation of the one-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, or what is collectively called the “NCR Plus,” on Monday and Tuesday morning.
Data released by PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana showed 2,598 were caught violating the minimum health standards of wearing of face mask and face shields when in public places and observance of physical distancing.
Of the number, 1,092 were from Metro Manila, 314 from Bulacan, 460 from Cavite, 373 from Laguna and 359 from Rizal.
Records that 157 violators from Bulacan were initially arrested but later released pending the filing of charges against them, while the rest who were caught were either fined or merely warned.
Meanwhile, 2,807 individuals were caught violating the 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew hours set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases – 1,894 from Metro Manila, 84 from Bulacan, 253 from Cavite, 371 from Laguna, and 205 from Rizal.
Police said 252 of the curfew violators were arrested but later released for filing of charges, while the rest were fined, warned or made to render community service.
In Metro Manila, the PNP said 1,441 were apprehended for going out of their homes even if they were not included in the Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) list, which includes medical frontliners and essential workers.
In Bulacan, 84 were also sent home after they failed to present proof that they are APOR members.
The PNP recommended the re-implementation of the quarantine pass system and cited difficulties experienced by deployed policemen to differentiate APORs from non-APORs in the streets.
Usana said some of the APORs walked to and from their destinations due to “limited and strict public transport guidelines.”
He said the PNP is expecting reports of APORs getting stranded once rail transits suspend their operations for maintenance services for the remainder of the week.
The PNP also reported that a total of 79 Bulaceños were denied entry into the NCR Plus bubble.
Usana said the PNP will coordinate with the Metro Manila Development Authority about the continued presence of street vendors and ask them to “apprehend, warn and compel them (vendors) to stay at home.”
In the Calabarzon area, the PNP said it observed “low level of cooperation from LGUs (local government units) in ECQ implementation,” and cited “poor observance of the populace to minimum health standards,” particularly the proper wearing of face masks and face shields.
The PNP reminded families about the age restriction set by the IATF, noting that some children below 18 years of age in the region continued to go out from their homes with their parents. Only individuals aged 18 to 65 years old are allowed to go out their houses, but only if they are APORs or for essential trips.
In Central Luzon, the PNP said it observed “confusion” in the implementation of community quarantine protocols, which Usana can be addressed through the conduct of information drives.
Meanwhile, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente yesterday ordered all immigration offices in the NCR Plus bubble to scale down their operations and downsize their workforce while the capital region is locked down. He ordered that working hours be limited from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. only until the ECQ is lifted.
Morente also instructed BI officers and employees who are pregnant, those with immune deficiency, comorbidity and other health problems to work from home during the ECQ period instead of reporting to their offices.
Aside from its main office in Intramuros in Manila, the BI also operates satellite and extension offices in Makati, Pasay, Taguig, Quezon City, and Las Piñas.
It likewise has field offices in Dasmariñas City in Cavite, Sta. Rosa in Laguna and Taytay in Rizal.
Morente said the work arrangement does not apply to immigration personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport who were instructed to continue reporting for duty on three shifts daily to ensure that all international flights are served and processed without interruptions.
The BI has 3,157 officers and employees, of which about 700 are assigned at the NAIA. – With Ashzel Hachero