COVID checkpoints between Bukidnon towns, cities removed

Commuters board a van after their body temperatures were checked at the quarantine checkpoint in Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon on March 21, 2020. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 30 April) – Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. ordered Thursday the removal of all quarantine checkpoints between the towns and cities of Bukidnon to allow the unhampered movement of vehicles within the province.

But Zubiri, in Executive Order No. 509 series of 2020, retained the checkpoints in the borders with Misamis Oriental, North Cotabato, Lanao and Davao provinces.

The order will be fully implemented on May 1.

Mindanao, with the exception of Davao City, Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro, will be placed under general community quarantine from May 1-15 as ordered by President Duterte last April 23.

The three areas in Davao Region will remain under enhanced community quarantine.

Duterte issued the order based on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in its meeting on the same day in Malacañang.

Zubiri said his office had received several complaints about the checkpoints within the province.

“These quarantine control points are drawing criticism from the public as it hampers the daily movement of motorists and residents,” Zubiri said.

Some public buses remain impounded at the terminal in Malaybalay City due to the enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19. MindaNews photo taken 26 April 2020 by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

He said the decision came after he received a recommendation from the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force to lift the control points between the towns and two cities of Bukidnon.

The control points that remain operational are those in Alae, Manolo Fortich; Barangay Gango, Libona; Nicdao, Baungon; Kalilangan town; Sta. Ines, Malitbog; San Fernando; Lorega, Kitaotao; and Damulog town.

Bukidnon shares borders with Cagayan de Oro, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao City and North Cotabato.

Meanwhile, the familiar red buses of Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. will resume servicing passengers within Bukidnon on May 1.

In a statement, RTMI said their buses will service the towns of Bukidnon in a regular but limited capacity.

“As a precautionary measure to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and in the interest of public safety, we have installed foot baths in our buses and terminals and our line personnel including drivers and conductors will be provided with face shields and face masks,” the statement sent to reporters said.

The bus company said they would require passengers to wear face masks at all times while inside their buses and to observe physical distancing.

Two other big bus companies, Super 5 and Pabama, are also servicing commuters to and from Bukidnon. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)