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PNP ordered to let media travel freely

John Henry Dodson



Until 21 March, members of media may use their press and media cards to travel unhampered. Photograph by John Henry Dodson for Daily Tribune

Malacañang on Thursday, 19 March 2020, ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies to allow members of media to freely travel past checkpoints to cover the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

In a memorandum, the palace also extended to 21 March the use by the working press and their support staff of their own media identification cards as they await the release of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases ID cards.

The International Press Center(IPC), which was tasked by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to prepare the media members’ IATF cards, had asked for an extension of the 72-hour deadline on the production of the cards because of the big volume of ID they have to prepare.

“The provisional period of 72 hours granted to media personnel to continue operating in Luzon is hereby extended until March 21, 2020. Thereafter, only those who bear the IATF accreditation ID as issued by the PCOO may be exempted from the strict home quarantine requirement,” the memorandum stated.

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar has said that media personnel may use their respective ID cards issued by their organizations to get past checkpoints.

“In the meantime, all bonafide media IDs will be honored by the Philippine National Police,” Andanar had said.