Ever since the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) last March, traffic in Metro Manila has been very light since several key industries, as well as public transportation, have been suspended from operating.

But now that Metro Manila is now placed in Modified ECQ (MECQ), there has been a steady buildup of vehicles on the roads thanks to the resumption of work in some industries. Due to this, long queues at checkpoints and quarantine control points (QCPs) started to build up as authorities check each vehicle for authorized persons outside residences (APORs) and ensuring the unhampered delivery of basic commodities.

In order to shorten vehicle queues at QCPs and random checkpoints along major roads, Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that they will implement modified checkpoints in Metro Manila and other urban areas nationwide.

“With the downgrading of community quarantine status in almost all areas in the country, there is a significant increase in motor vehicles everywhere. There are times where we cannot check all vehicles passing through our fixed checkpoints since this could create monstrous traffic congestion, which will defeat the purpose of partially reopening the economy,” said Eleazar.

Eleazar added that QCPs and checkpoints can adjust by performing random checks in order to minimize traffic congestion and public inconvenience. By doing this, Eleazar claims that this will improve the flow of vehicles entering Metro Manila and other urban areas.

“We expect more vehicles to travel in these areas that is why we have to modify the implementation of checkpoints for the convenience of the motorists. But once there is already a traffic build-up, the checking could be stopped temporarily to allow all the vehicles to pass freely. The strict checking of vehicles will resume if the traffic situation normalizes anew,” added Eleazar.

Despite the easing of QCPs, Eleazar mentioned that police officers and soldiers manning modified checkpoints will still check vehicles and the persons on board to see if they are APORs, and are following social distancing measures.

So the next time you're about to cross a checkpoint and you noticed that the officers in charge did not check your vehicle, they are implementing modified checkpoint practices in order to ease traffic flow. Should you be flagged by authorities for inspection, always remember to be respectful, show necessary identification/documents when asked, and answer questions truthfully.