Don't be surprised if a motorcycle-riding police officer flags you down while driving.
That's because the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) has just announced that they will be performing random checks on motorists. This is to see if the person, or persons, in the vehicle is authorized to be out on the road. These inspections will be done in areas that fall under MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine).
Areas that fall under MECQ are Metro Manila, along with the provinces of Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales. These places will be under MECQ until May 31, unless the government decides to extend it.
“Habang tumatakbo po kayo, magugulat na lang kayo tatabihan kayo ng isang motorcycle rider ng HPG. Papatabihin po kayo para tanungin po kung kayo ba ay authorized individual,” said HPG Director Brig. General Eliseo Cruz.
[While you're on the move, a motorcycle rider from HPG will approach a motorist and will ask them to pull over. They will then be asked whether they are an authorized individual]
PNP-HPG officers will be giving citations to those not authorized to be outside of their residences, or who are violating physical distancing measures inside vehicles. The HPG will issue an LTO – Temporary Operator's Permit (TOP) or MMDA – Ordinance Violation Receipt (OVR) tickets against erring motorists who are not allowed to go outside of their homes.
With the PNP-HPG now using mobile checkpoints during MECQ, does this mean that the stationary (and random) checkpoints along major roads will be removed? The simple answer is 'No'. Cruz said that they will still have them posted along major thoroughfares.
“We will still have random checkpoints. These are stationary, we will spend about two to four hours in these areas and then we move to continuously check if all motorists plying our roads are authorized individuals,” added Cruz.
Should you be asked to pull over, always remember to be respectful, present necessary identification/documents when asked, and answer questions truthfully. For as long as you have your papers in place, it shouldn't be much trouble if you've been selected for the inspection. For those without any form of passes, please do not tempt fate and stay at home.