THE Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is now planning to set up inner border control in various areas of Bacolod City as part of its measures to protect Bacolodnons against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, spokesperson of BCPO, said that during their command conference Friday, July 31, 2020, at BCPO, they discussed to set up inner border control in various barangays.
“Because of our Covid-19 cases, we need to intensify our campaign to prevent the spread of the virus. We are only waiting for the final order to implement this,” he said.
As of July 30, Bacolod City has a total of 194 Covid-19 cases. Of the number, 64 patients recovered, 16 are admitted, 17 are under home quarantine, 90 are at the quarantine facility and seven have died.
Pico said the policemen who will be assigned at the inner border control will be equipped with thermal scanners.
Policemen were also tasked to arrest motorcycle drivers and backriders if they fail to install barriers on motorcycles, wear face masks and observe social distancing.
Pico said based on the guidelines issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Directorate for Operations in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and as approved by PNP Chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa, all police commanders and the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) are instructed to start apprehending violators starting August 1 and impose penalties of P1,000 to P10,000.
The Bacolod City Council earlier approved a resolution asking the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) to reconsider the requirement of requiring motorists to install barriers on motorcycles before allowing an "Angkas" or backrider for reasons of safety and impracticality.
Councilor Simplicia Distrito, who authored the resolution, said several professional and motorcycle groups have already denounced the barrier requirement for being impractical.
“Those that will be allowed are wives or live-in partners as backriders, however, when they get home they will sleep in the same bed, they will still kiss each other goodbye and will walk and hold hands together. Thus, it defeats the purpose of the requirement considering that they are regularly exposed to each other, she said.
DILG issued an advisory advising all local government units that backriding on motorcycles shall be allowed in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the IATF-MEID.
The advisory mentioned the guidelines such as couples living in the same bed; presentation of valid identification cards as proof that the said persons are living together or are married to one another, or have relation to one another or common law marriage, boyfriend and girlfriend, etc.; safety barriers/shield whose design is duly approved by the IATF national be placed between the driver and the passenger; persons riding motorcycles observe minimum public health standards set forth by the Department of Health, such as the wearing of face masks and other relevant personal protective equipment; and riders must observe all road-safety measures during their rides, such as the donning appropriate motorcycle safety headwear or crash helmets.