Press Release
June 19, 2020

'Visa center na, pera padala force pa,' Recto on unburdening PNP of travel pass job

The police should be "unburdened" of the duty to issue travel passes, "a clerical job which draws them away from their far more important responsibilities," Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

"The most important requirement is the medical certificate issued by a public health doctor. The pass issued by the police has no probative value," Recto said.

"Kapag mayroon nang medical certificate, hindi na pwede i-overrule ng pulis. Kung wanted for a criminal case, wala naman silang online database of fugitives. So where's the value-added service?" he said.

Recto said "understaffed police stations" still have to man quarantine-required checkpoints.

"And then they have to assign personnel to process applications for authority to travel outside a province. So an officer who should be pounding his beat is now pounding his computer keyboard," he said.

The senator said "this unnecessary document draws away our depleted police force from the frontlines and their principal job."

"Dagdag pa dito, pinapatulong pa sila sa pag-distribute ng second wave ng ayuda. So on top of being a travel visa center, they're also a pera padala force," he said.

Recto said he is "respectfully requesting the IATF to review the order instructing travellers to get a pass from the police as it is both a hassle to the pass giver and the pass holder."

"Kung stranded ka sa isang lugar, wala ka nang pera, hindi mo kilala ang mga tao, hindi mo kabisado ang syudad, tapos wala ka pang masakyan papunta sa presinto, at pagdating mo doon kumpul-kumpol ang taong nakapila sa isang pulis na gumagawa ng pass, how is public health served in this scenario?" Recto said.

IATF rules require travellers to secure a travel authority from the police if they are not those in the exempt groups who will travel outside their province.

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