The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered that all barangay checkpoints located on all national highways and provincial roads are to be removed immediately.
In a recent memo released by the DILG, the government agency reminded LGUs and barangays that only the PNP can set up checkpoints along major routes, as well as inspect cargo trucks. All LGU and barangay personnel are not allowed to inspect the said trucks.
According to Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) Commander Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar, the DILG issued the order after receiving complaints of varying rules and regulations on the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) set up by LGUs and barangays. Moreover, Eleazar stated that these barangay checkpoints have resulted in the delay in the movement of basic commodities and goods, and has caused confusion among the public.
“Some of these barangay checkpoints are implementing their own rules which are clearly in defiance of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines. We in the JTF CV Shield have been receiving similar complaints from cargo owners and drivers and even from people who are supposed to be exempted from home quarantine but were being barred in barangay checkpoints. The President's order is clear: the IATF guidelines should prevail in the ECQ rules,” said Eleazar.
The Commander of the JTF CV Shield mentioned that barangay checkpoints are only allowed along interior roads, provided that there is prior coordination with the local police station for their set up. In addition, Eleazar added that local police personnel must be the ones supervising these barangay checkpoints in order for them to follow the IATF guidelines provided, not the barangay's own policies.
“Our Chief PNP, General Archie Gamboa, has already directed all the police commanders to assist us in the implementation of the (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government's) order,” added Eleazar.
While the ECQ only applies to the island of Luzon, Eleazar added that the order to dismantle all checkpoints along national highways and provincial roads also applies to the islands of Visayas and Mindanao.
With the DILG and the JTF CV Shield making it clear that the PNP are the only ones authorized to put checkpoints, they are confident that this will speed up the transportation of basic commodities and goods in the country.