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Stricter checkpoints implemented in ‘NCR Plus’ on first day of GCQ bubble

The checkpoints in Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna became stricter on the first day of the implementation of the general community quarantine bubble in the NCR and nearby provinces on Monday. 

At the boundary of Calumpit, Bulacan and Apalit, Pampanga, which is outside the GCQ bubble, police personnel were checking motorists passing the area, according to a report of Darlene Cay on GMA News’ Unang Balita.

The screening of motorists in the area became stricter in the morning.

Checkpoints were also set up within the GCQ bubble.

Police elements from District Mobil Force Battalion were manning the checkpoints at the boundary of Quezon City and San Mateo, Rizal on the Batasan-San Mateo Road, according to a report of James Agustin on Unang Balita.

Motorists were being asked of their destination and their purpose of travel. Those who will go to work will have to present their IDs.

Public utility vehicles also underwent inspection if passengers are complying with  minimum health protocols such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks.

A checkpoint was also set up at the boundary of Marikina City and San Mateo.

Ordinance violation tickets were issued to violating motorists. Authorities also advised some people to go home because their travel is not considered essential.

At 6 a.m., a line of motorists at the checkpoints were building up as authorities screened the motorists one by one.

At the boundary of Marikina and Rizal along Marcos Highway, some motorists and bicycle riders received a warning for staying outside within the curfew hours, according to a report of Bam Alegre.

The access point from Marikina to Quezon City near the Riverbanks was also being monitored.

Due to the checkpoints, the traffic became slightly heavy.

Only few buses going to Nueva Ecija and Hagonoy, Bulacan were seen at the Five Star Bus Terminal in Cubao and at the Balintawak Bus Terminal.

According to drivers, they have been waiting for passengers at the terminals for an hour already.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Philippine National Police spokesperson Police Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana said border control was also set up inside the GCQ bubble because only NCR is considered as the outbreak region.

“Ang outbreak region po actually ay nasa NCR. Minarapat ng national government na lakihan pa ‘yung spread ng boundary hanggang doon sa apat na provinces,” he said.

(The outbreak region is actually in NCR. The national government just decided to expand the boundary to these four provinces.)

Local government units were also advised to adjust their system for the restrictions and align it with the new policy of the national government, Usana added.

Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases, the national government placed Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna or the “NCR plus” under a GCQ bubble where non-essential travel is banned from March 22 to April 4. — Joviland Rita/RSJ, GMA News