Davaoeños slam ‘coffin’ checkpoints, return of FM pass

Nov. 20, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Coffins placed on highway checkpoints and the return of the food and medicine pass are among the issues Davaoeňos heavily criticized in the past week as the city tries to come up with measures to respond to the rapid rise of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city.

The City Government of Davao announced last Friday night it was re-imposing the use of the FM pass to regulate the movement of Davao City residents.

The announcement came hours after Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced that the city will not implement stricter rules amidst the rising cases.

But the announcement caused confusion to the public, as the city has announced earlier it will implement the Davao Safety QR Code for contact tracing purpose.

The FM pass was implemented during the city’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that allowed one member per household to conduct essential travel on scheduled dates based on the card’s number.

Residents raised concern especially those who have misplaced their FM pass since the lifting of the ECQ in June, and for families who have more than two members who need to go out for work.

Mayor Duterte-Carpio explained in her radio program on Monday that the revival of the FM pass is to strengthen the enforcement against people gathering outside their streets that may lead to massive transmission of the virus.

The mayor also added that FM pass is not a replacement for the Davao Safe QR Code but instead these two requirements will be needed to prove essential travel and for faster contact tracing.

“In the future, we will require the two documents in checkpoints for essential travel”, she said.

Coffin in the streets

The public also aired frustration on social media when police authorities laid out coffins in the main roads and Quarantine Control Points in Davao City in an effort to discourage people from engaging in non-essential and risky travels.

Netizens posted such coffins displayed in main highways of R. Castillo, Agdao, Mac Arthur Highway in front of Matina Public Market and the Toril Quarantine Control Points during a Saturday rush hour.

Many commuters got stuck longer in traffic on Saturday night due to the congestion of vehicles passing the coffins which occupied one lane of the main roads of Davao that caused traffic and delays of many commuters on their way home.

The mayor clarified that this setting up of coffins is not a program of the city government but an initiative of the law enforcers manning the checkpoints.

On Sunday morning, the coffins were removed after netizens raised their complaints. (davaotoday.com)

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