Press Release
March 31, 2021

Hontiveros to DILG: Act on 'heavy-handed' law enforcers blocking delivery riders, arresting people picking up deliveries

Senator Risa Hontiveros today urged the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to act on reports of delivery riders and couriers being unduly held up at checkpoints and people being arrested for picking up deliveries, saying that law enforcers should comply with regulations and allow vital services to fully operate in 'NCR Plus.'

The senator made the call after reports and social media alleged that delivery riders have not been allowed to pass checkpoints and even ticketed by "heavy-handed" law enforcement personnel since the reimposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in NCR Plus (Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan), despite government rules allowing delivery and courier services to continue unimpeded.

Several of such incidents have been shared on social media, including an account of a delivery rider who was supposedly ticketed by law enforcers at a checkpoint since he was delivering "non-essential" goods, and a viral video of a man arrested outside his home when he picked up food from a delivery rider.

"DILG should ensure that all quarantine guidelines are properly observed by our law enforcers, which includes allowing vital industries to remain fuly operational. Dapat alam ng enforcers ang mga regulasyon na kanilang pinapatupad, at hindi basta na lang silang nanghuhuli ng walang basehan," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said that all enforcers of health protocols should immediately comply with Section 2(4) of the Omnibus Guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), which expressly states that delivery and courier services are fully "allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken for the duration of the ECQ."

"Malinaw ang regulasyon na dapat hayaan ang mga delivery at courier services, kung sila ay sumusunod naman sa health guidelines at may proper identification. Dapat alam iyan ng lahat ng law enforcers, mapa pulis man o local government unit personnel. Hindi sila pwedeng mag-imbento at manghula ng patakaran," she said.

She added that the IATF and local government units should implement a uniform process of allowing the safe delivery of goods to and from areas under stricter "granular" lockdowns where COVID-19 cases are high. Such mechanisms, she said, will ensure that the virus will not spread while people's livelihood and businesses may continue even on a limited basis.

Hontiveros stressed that rules during lockdown are only meant to curb COVID-19 infections, and should be interpreted to cause the least disruption to people's lives and livelihood. "Kailangan may pang-unawa ang ating mga law enforcers sa pagpapatupad ng mga health guidelines, dahil ang layunin nito ay iligtas ang tao mula sa COVID-19, hindi para gutumin sila o patayin ang hanapbuhay."

"With unemployment at a record-high and financial assistance severly limited, health protocols should not overly restrict economic activities. Hayaan nating maghanapbuhay ang mga kababayan natin sa ligtas na paraan, lalo pa't marami ang naghihirap ngayon," she concluded.

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