Cargo trucks and vans should not be blocked from entering ports, expressways, or highways, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles.
The Cabinet official, speaking in a government-run channel on March 18, reiterated that movement of cargoes via land, air, and sea “shall be unhampered” during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon from March 17 to April 13.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson P/BGen Bernard Banac during the same program asked for patience over delays encountered by the public at police checkpoints, while assuring of an improvement in the situation in the coming days.
Banac explained that the long queues at checkpoints during the first day of the enhanced community quarantine were due the need to check all the vehicles, the temperature of motorists, and documents required to pass through.
The police officer claimed they have already provided separate lanes for vehicles carrying food deliveries and cargoes and those carrying frontline workers, particularly on the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway, to shorten the queues. He added that the situation is better now since only those really allowed to go out are outside.
Cargo transport stakeholders have reported that their trucks are not being allowed to pass through checkpoints, particularly into Metro Manila, as they are being told only those carrying basic items and medicines are allowed.
Banac said there may be more lanes in the coming days as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases continues to assess the situation. – Roumina Pablo
Screengrab from the live telecast of PTV4