Non-essential travelers banned in Bicol region

By Mar S. Arguelles


All non-essential travelers from the National Capital Region (NCR) and other areas classified under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified ECQ (MECQ) going to the Bicol region as their final destination will not be allowed entry and would be required to return to their places of origin, the Bicol Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (BIATF) said on Tuesday, Apr. 13.


The BIATF directive was issued and carried out immediately after the agreement was reached during the dialogue with the six Bicol provincial governors wherein stricter border quarantine control points in the Bicol-Quezon boundaries in Sta Elena, Camarines Norte and Del Gallego town in Camarines Sur was put in place.


Lawyer Anthony Nuyda, regional director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Bicol and BIATF chairperson, said border checkpoints manned by composite personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchasing Regulatory Board (LTFRB, and local health frontliners would strictly close the border and prohibit all private vans, cars, and vehicles from bringing in non-essential travelers to the region.


Based from the BIATF advisory, all other travelers bound to various Bicol provinces are required to bring and show a negative RT/PCR or antigen test result from their point of origin and undergo antigen test in the area where they are going.


Exempted from the directive are personnel of cargo trucks and vehicles who are transporting essential goods and services, and Authorize Person Outside Residence (APOR) or public and private employees with valid travel orders and company identification cards or ID.


Non-APOR would be permitted entry to the region subject to the reasonable regulations imposed by the LGUs.


Quarantine Control Checkpoints (QCC) and health screening would be done in the border of Barangay Tabugon, Sta Elena, Camarines Norte to check travelers bound for any of the provinces in the region.