CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The enhanced community quarantine in Bukidnon has led to closing its road borders to non-residents, as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) since starting Saturday (March 21) as ordered by Governor Jose Maria Zubiri.
Quarantine checkpoint, such as one in Barangay Alae, Manolo Fortich, has a combined team of police, military, municipal and regional health personnel that screens persons who pass through the border control facility.
There are at least four Cagayan de Oro-Bukidnon boundaries located in the towns of Manolo Fortich, Libona, Talakag, and Baungon.
Aside from going through a thermal scan and foot bath, motorists and passengers are now being required to show identification cards to prove that they are residents of Bukidnon.
Manolo Fortich Police Officer Krishna Joy Hingcayog said they are now very strict in allowing people in, and said around a dozen persons were not allowed to enter as they did not establish their residency in Bukidnon.
“We have to turn them away. We cannot allow them to enter Bukidnon because they have failed to present any identification to show they are residents,” she said.
But Hingcayog said they gave consideration to four young persons on board a public utility van heading for Lantapan town who failed to present their ID cards since their companion has vouched for them that they are indeed residents of the municipality.
For Emilio Gales, 43, a resident of Barangay Damilag, Manolo Fortich, passing through a stringent protocol before getting to this home is not a bother to him.
“It’s not a hassle. I’m fine with it. It’s for our safety,” said Gales, who works at a warehouse owned by a multinational corporation in Claveria town, Misamis Oriental, and has to travel outside Bukidnon every day.
Exempted from this lockdown are health workers who are responding to an emergency, government officials or employees whose travel to Bukidnon is in relation with the government response to Covid-19, entities or organizations on a humanitarian mission such as the Philippine National Red Cross; and persons delivering supplies such as food and medicines.
Those persons may no longer be asked to show their IDs, but Hingcayog said they are still required to subject themselves to a thermal scan and foot bath.
Governor Zubiri has imposed a self-quarantine since March 17. While 18 of Bukdinon’s municipal mayors also took this precautionary step after meeting with the governor’s son, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who had tested positive for Covid-19 infection. (davaotoday.com)