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New ECQ passes to be rolled out in Cebu City

New ECQ QR-coded passes will be rolled out in Cebu City in accordance with Gen. Cimatu’s recommendations. Mayor Labella has scrapped the old ECQ passes.

Source: PTV News

New ECQ passes are being rolled out to the residents of Cebu City.

This followed the announcement of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on June 25 regarding the hard lockdown of the 12 barangays deemed ‘hotspots’ for the virus which include Sambag Dos, Kamputhaw, Sambag Uno, Basak San Nicolas, Mabolo, Guadalupe, Lahug, Duljo, Tinago, Tisa, Ermita, Tejero.

The 250,000 passes that were given since March are suspended and will no longer be of use.

Appointment of Sec. Roy Cimatu

On June 22, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, a former military chief, to oversee the quarantine situation in Cebu City.

Since the appointment, Cimatu has implemented guidelines for the new quarantine pass for which he had extensive consultations with Gen. Melquiades Feliciano (IATF-EID deputy chief implementer) and 80 barangay captains, and the deployment of over 160 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force commandos and 200 police in the city.

What being in stricter ECQ means

The barangay captains are now required to limit the movement of their constituents within their own barangays. Those who will hold on to their old ECQ passes will not be allowed entry anywhere.

Replacement of old passes

On June 23, DILG Chief Eduardo Año ordered the suspension of 250,000 ECQ passes issued by the Cebu City government to residents. 

This was implemented to ensure that only one resident per household gets a pass. Only authorized persons and essential workers are exempted from the restrictions for the new quarantine passes.

New QR-coded quarantine passes

For reference, here are the things to remember when using the QR-coded passes:

  • The new quarantine passes are printed in a piece of paper with a very big QR (quick response)-code and alphanumerical characters that are unique to each holder.
  • The new quarantine passes will be distributed using an odd and even scheme to avoid overcrowding. Those with odd-numbered QR codes can use them every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while those with even numbers can use them every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 6AM until 8PM.
  • At the checkpoint and the PNP personnel will scan the QR code of the holde rusing his mobile phone which will show the name, sitio, and barangay of the holder.

Strict compliance

The government wants compliance with quarantine restrictions similar to what was observed in the NCR, hence the deployment of more police and military forces in the city.

Wearing of face masks at all times and the observance of social distancing should strictly be observed by quarantine pass holders. These measures will be strictly enforced by the police and they will not hesitate to arrest and file charges against violators.

Issues with the new passes

City residents took to social media their frustrations regarding the confiscation of their barangay-issued QR coded passes by the police because the sticker was not glossy.

This issue was immediately cleared up by Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas, Jr. in a phone interview with Cebu Daily News.

Casas said that the city government simply used different printing materials for the passes due to the lack of time and city budget. He iterated that the basis of a real pass should be the QR code, the name of the barangay, sitio, and the head of the household or name of the residential complex – the pass being glossy or not should be immaterial.

This issue with the new QR-coded passes has been resolved with the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

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