The ditty popularized by singer Don Ho used to be a staple of beauty pageant talent competitions in the past. But within the current context of the pandemic, ‘Tiny Bubbles’ takes on a whole new meaning as the country’s police force slices up the metropolis to curb inter-city travel.
Checkpoints will now be in effect between the different cities in Metro Manila
On the eve of Metro Manila’s transition back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocols from August 6 to 20, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar announced that the NCR Plus bubble would no longer be in effect. This will be replaced by the implementation of standalone sectors for each local government unit.
“Starting tonight (August 5), ito pong National Capital Region (NCR), the individual cities and municipality, ay magiging individual bubble na po sila,” he said during a government briefing. (Starting tonight, the NCR and its individual cities and municipality would be considered as individual bubbles)
Only those who fall under the approved APOR classifications will be allowed to pass through
In an earlier interview, Eleazar mentioned that the main NCR Plus bubble, which includes the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, will be broken down into tiny bubbles instead. He added that this comes as a result of ECQ being implemented mainly in NCR, with the adjoining suburbs placed either under modified ECQ (MECQ) or general community quarantine (GCQ), the latter with higher restrictions. Laguna will also be under ECQ until August 15.
APORs buying essential goods must stay within their own cities or municipality
Where only border checkpoints to and from the larger collective area existed in previous quarantine implementations, the PNP chief added that inter-city checkpoints will now be set up, further restricting movement for citizens except in specific cases. Eleazar enumerates the authorized persons outside residence (APOR) categories in place:
- Worker APORs who are employed in essential industries
- Consumer APORs who can go out for essential supplies
- APORs who need to attend to emergencies and other medical considerations
Only worker APORs and those attending to emergencies or are scheduled to receive their vaccines will be allowed to pass through checkpoints. Consumer APORs must stay within their respective cities or localities to buy needed goods.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo