Strict (point to point) border protocols enforced

BAGUIO CITY – (09 July) – Stricter border control is being enforced to prevent untested travelers and those not willing to be tested from getting inside and staying in the city.

This is according to Lt. Col. Domingo Gambican, Operations officer of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), in a media forum at city hall last week.   

For passing through travelers, a card/form system now prevails. According to Gambican, a form is given to the traveler at the entry checkpoint, which should be left at the exit checkpoint. The traveler’s identity shall also be communicated to the exit checkpoint through radio, Gambican said.

The system was first implemented July 4 in city borders, as police escorts from entry to exit points dwindled due to other duties, Gambican further said. From the 41% of vehicles that skipped border controls, the system has upped the number of vehicles to 60% really passing through

Earlier, less than 41% percent of travelers’ vehicles pass through. Thus, a greater number of travelers stay in the city despite claiming otherwise. False excuses were also used by travelers to skip having the antigen or RT-PCR swab test at the triage centers. Fake identification cards with non-existing home addresses and bogus documents have also been used to enter the city. 

Now, Gambican claims, there is a slight traffic build-up at the Marcos Highway checkpoint which shows strict enforcement of travel protocols or mandatory check by BCPO personnel. 

The concern was also discussed during the City Management Committee (Mancom) meeting where Mayor Benjamin Magalong wanted the matter to be addressed immediately. The matter cropped up as a number of travelers tested Covid-19 positive daily at the triage, inside the city.

BCPO City Director Max Sumeg-ang then said the situation presented a pass-through gap but better results are expected when pass-through travelers go through the borders to their destination outside of the city. -juliegfianza