MANILA (UPDATED) —The Philippine National Police will put up border controls in the NCR-Plus region effective midnight to ensure that only authorized people can cross borders, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said in a statement on Saturday.
Sec. Eduardo Año said Joint Task Force COVID shield commander Israel Dickson has been directed to activate quarantine control points (QCPs) along the borders of NCR-Plus in Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal in compliance with IATF Resolution No. 130-A.
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya clarified to ABS-CBN News that there will be no QCPs inside NCR-Plus. The checkpoints will be at the borders of NCR-Plus, meaning the borders of Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, and Batangas, he added.
This means travel into and out of the NCR-Plus bubble will be restricted a week before the actual enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) begins on August 6.
The order was made "to ensure that only authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) are allowed to travel in and out," the DILG said.
"So tomorrow, movement of people going in and out of the travel bubble will be subjected to restrictions unless the person is an APOR; while inside the NCR+, there will be no travel restrictions until we go to ECQ where new restrictions will apply," Malaya said.
Residents of NCR+ who went out of town will still be allowed entry after presenting their IDs with a home address inside NCR+, he said.
Año said the PNP will only recognize pandemic task force IDs issued by regulatory agencies, and valid IDs and other documentation upon entry and exit in borders.
Cargo vehicles, meanwhile, should be allowed to travel through borders, especially those carrying essential goods, such as food.
“We have instructed all QCPs to allow the unimpeded movement of cargo trucks and delivery vehicles across all our checkpoints,” he said.
Unauthorized persons will be barred from passing and ordered to return to their homes, he added.
“The implementation of strict border controls in the NCR+ areas is critical to stopping the spread of the Delta variant,” he said.
In a text message, Malaya said this was part of additional restrictions to be imposed before shifting to a stricter lockdown come August 6.
He also clarified that APOR classifications are being imposed in areas under heightened and additional restrictions, in line with the pandemic task force's guidelines.
"Yes may APOR classifications na (There are APOR classifications) under ECQ with heightened and additional restrictions. That’s provided in IATF Resolution 130A and the Omnibus Guidelines on Quarantine Classifications," he said.
Metro Manila since last week has been under heightened general community quarantine (GCQ), and will be shifting to the strictest lockdown level or ECQ starting August 6, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
For a second straight day on Saturday, the Philippines tallied more than 8,000 cases after it logged 8,147 fresh COVID-19 cases, bringing the number of active ones beyond 60,000.