The Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) has been tapped in securing cargoes traveling along major thoroughfares in Luzon where the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is in place, the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) said on Friday.
“The objective here is to ensure that deliveries of food and other basic goods are not subjected to unnecessary and redundant inspections which are the usual reason for the delay,” PNP deputy chief for operations and JTF CV Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, told reporters.
Based on the JTF CV Shield plan, the PNP-HPG is tasked to set up Dedicated Control Points (DCPs) on provincial boundaries and other strategic areas where cargo vehicles usually travel.
The DCPs could be set up in the existing Quarantine Control Points (QCPs). Once completed, the QCPs will be immediately converted to DCPs and will be manned by HPG personnel.
QCPs are manned by policemen and soldiers and have been in charge of inspecting both private and cargo vehicles and ensuring that only Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) are allowed to pass.
QCPs are usually set up at the boundaries between municipalities or cities and manned by the local police.
With the establishment of the DCPs, Eleazar said all vehicles carrying cargoes like trucks, vans, pick-up, and jeepneys are exempted from being flagged down or checked at the QCPs.
“HPG units were also given the leeway to set up DCPs in areas which they deem strategic, it does not necessarily mean that the DCPs will only be set up on provincial boundaries. But what is important is this rule: Cargo vehicles will only be inspected at HPG-manned and HPG-supervised Dedicated Control Points, and inspection will only be done if necessary,” he stressed.
Eleazar said PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa already instructed all leaders of the HPG teams that will man DCPs to coordinate with the local commanders, especially with the provincial directors, to establish clear guidelines on the matter.
The HPG was also ordered to coordinate with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) regarding all cargo vehicles entering or passing through Metro Manila.
“We understand that HPG units have limited personnel, that is why our Chief PNP said that the HPG team leaders can also request for augmentation from local police units in manning the Dedicated Control Points,” Eleazar noted.
Initially, Eleazar said the DCPs will only be set up in Luzon but he said this will be expanded in the Visayas and Mindanao as soon as possible.
In case of concerns and problems relating to the movement of cargoes, drivers and owners of cargo vehicles could call the HPG hotline: 0926-2255474.
“We activated this hotline specifically for the concerns and for any complaints of drivers and owners of cargo vehicles. We assure them that we will immediately address any of their concerns relating to cargo transport,” Eleazar said.
The JTF CV Shield is the enforcement arm of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID). It is composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). (PNA)