Both circulars are designed to minimize disruption to the supply chain, especially to essential goods and services, during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. They are in accordance with Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that grants President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers for a limited time to address the emergency health crisis.
Cargo truck drivers and their helpers are subject to safety and health measures implemented by PPA, according to MC 14-2020. These include accomplishment of entry protocol, thermal scanning, disinfection, and referral of symptomatic persons to the Department of Health (DOH) or the local government unit’s (LGU) health office.
Previously under MC 13-2020, truck drivers and helpers were subjected to stringent health protocols of the Bureau of Quarantine, DOH, and LGU units at the ports before being allowed to enter or leave the ports and proceed to their subsequent or final destination.
Under MC 13-2020 trucks carrying cargoes from one port to another in the Philippines, regardless of whether they will be traversing a body or bodies of water, will be allowed continuous access to and from the ports, according to a new order from the PPA.
Carrying of empty containers for withdrawal or repositioning will also be ensured continuous entry to and from the ports and inland container yards/depots/warehouses, according to MC 13-2020.
MC 13-2020 amends Section 3 of MC 10-2020, which provides PPA’s guidelines for ports under its jurisdiction during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
Previously under MC 10-2020, only trucks carrying cargoes from one port to another but will not be traversing a body or bodies of water are allowed continuous access to ports. Moreover, trucks which carry cargoes and which will have to traverse a body or bodies of water, or go from one island to another, will have to unload the cargoes at the next port of call and transfer these cargoes to another truck or vehicle. Alternatively, the trucks can engage a different driver and a maximum of two helpers provided by the trucking company/shipper/consignee for the continued voyage of the trucks and cargoes to their final destination. – Roumina Pablo