Bicol IATF orders dismantling of unauthorized checkpoints

Bicol IATF orders dismantling of unauthorized checkpoints

LEGAZPI CITY – The Bicol Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (BIATF EID) ordered the immediate dismantling of existing unauthorized checkpoints set up by local government units (LGU) across the region.

The BIATF on Monday issued a resolution ordering the dismantling of existing checkpoints established and manned by LGUs, including those created not in coordination with the members of the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield).

The BIATF Resolution No. 07 also reminded LGUs that only JTF CV Shield is authorized to establish general community quarantine (GCQ) checkpoints manned by their designated personnel.

Lawyer Anthony Nuyda, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regional director and BIATF chairman, in his circular said “while we laud the efforts of the LGUs in protecting their respective jurisdictions by limiting entry of some individuals, we deem it necessary to impose restrictions to avoid conflicting regulations which only cause confusion and difficulty among individuals and businesses.”

The circular said that in the event of any conflict of rules or guidelines, “human dignity and the safety and needs of the individual shall prevail.”

The IATF circular was in response to mounting complaints from people considered as Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) but were prohibited entry in LGU checkpoints and required to secure local travel clearances.

The IATF has observed that despite the validated list of APORs where presentation of basic or regular identification cards would suffice to pass through designated checkpoints, LGU checkpoints still refused to honor it, citing their own initiated travel clearance protocols.

A cited case was the reported refusal by the Camarines Norte IATF to permit several health workers of the Bicol Sanitarium Hospital, a DOH-managed facility in Cabusao town in Camarines Sur, to visit their respective families.

The seven medical technologists who are residents of Camarines Norte wrote a letter addressed to the province’s IATF on May 4 requesting that they be allowed to return home to their families but to date, the request has not been acted upon by the LGU. Mar Serrano /PNA –