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The Philippine National Police (PNP) is gearing up for Metro Manila's shift from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 1, according to Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar.

"Handa na po tayo," Eleazar said in an interview over Dobol B sa News TV.

Eleazar admitted however it would be more challenging for the PNP with more people allowed out of the residences and more vehicles expected on the roads starting Monday.

Trains and bus augmentation, taxis, TNVS (transport network vehicle service), shuttle services, point-to-point buses, bicycles, tricycles, will be allowed on the roads starting June 1. However, public utility buses, UV Express units and jeepneys are not included in the transportation modes allowed for the first phase of the resumption of public transportation from June 1 to 21.

"From the point of view of law enforcement, talagang malaking hamon 'yan," Eleazar said.

The JTF CV Shield commander said PNP personnel will still conduct random checking among motorists to check if they are authorized persons outside residence (APOR) or are workers in industries allowed to operate under GCQ.

Motorists will have to show their rapid pass or company ID to show they are allowed to work under GCQ.

Eleazar also reminded the public to get essential goods and services within their locality since supermarkets, drug stores and other establishments are located there.

"Hindi na dapat mag-cross ng border. Quarantine pa rin tayo... Avail them within your locality," he said.

For those planning to go to shopping malls, Eleazar said those aged 21-59 years old are allowed to enter malls.

However, malls will control the entry of shoppers, allowing only a maximum number of shoppers based on their floor area. 

"Ayaw natin buksan ang floodgates na lahat puwedeng lumabas. May restrictions pa rin," Eleazar said.

He also reiterated that those intending to travel outside of Metro Manila will have to get a travel authority from authorities.

These are still abnormal times under GCQ," Eleazar said.

Metro Manila Council

In a separate interview on Dobol B sa News TV, Metro Manila Council chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said local government units are ready for GCQ.

"GCQ, pinaghandaan lahat ng LGUs, ng pamahalaan. Ikinunsidera ang healthcare at ekonomiya," he said.

"Hirap na hirap na ang taumbayan. Kaya unti-unting binubuksan ang ekonomiya without sacrificing the health of the public," Olivarez said.

The MMC chair reminded the public to observe social distancing and wear face masks. 

If shopping malls are found not to follow guidelines as to social distancing and other health protocols, the LGUs have been given the authority to order their closure, Olivarez said.

"Kahit po tayo ay GCQ na naka-quarantine pa rin tayo. Sumunod po tayo sa mga panuntunan," he added. 

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