Philippine National Police

PNP implements ‘tiny bubble,’ bars inter-city travel for consumers

Jairo Bolledo
PNP implements ‘tiny bubble,’ bars inter-city travel for consumers

BEFORE ECQ. Churchgoers crowd the gate of the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Parañaque City on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, to hear mass as Metro Manila is under GCQ with heightened restrictions which prohibits physical religious gatherings inside the church and only allow online masses.

Metro Manila cities, including Pateros, would be considered ‘tiny bubbles,’ according to PNP chief Eleazar

Before the implementation of the strictest lockdown in Metro Manila, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Thursday, August 5, that cities in Metro Manila, including Pateros, would be considered as individual bubbles. 

Starting tonight, ito pong National Capital Region (NCR), the individual cities and municipality, ay magiging individual bubble na po sila,” PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said during a government briefing on Thursday. (Starting tonight, the NCR and its individuals cities and municipality would be considered as individual bubbles.)

In an earlier interview, Eleazar described the individual bubbles as “tiny bubbles.”

“From one large bubble, including the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, the NCR will shift to tiny bubbles,” the PNP chief said in an interview with DZMM’s Teleradyo on Wednesday. 

According to Eleazar, since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) will only take place in the NCR, the original NCR Plus Bubble would have no effect this time. ECQ will be implemented from August 6 to 20, with the hope of curbing the surging COVID-19 infections. 

The PNP chief added there would also be inter-city checkpoints between the borders of NCR cities and Pateros. This is different from the previous bubble where checkpoints were located between NCR Plus Bubble areas and their nearby province or town.

Who is authorized to go out?

Under the “tiny bubble” protocols, the authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) would be divided into three categories.

One set is the working APORs, who are reporting physically to their workplace and considered as essential workers. 

Another set is the consumer APORs, or individuals who will buy goods. Lastly, the other APORs, or individuals who have other essential reasons for going out, such as for medical needs. 

Unfortunately, under “tiny bubbles,” only working APORs, those who need medical assistance, and are scheduled for vaccination would be allowed to cross borders. 

So meaning to say, dahil ECQ na siya, itong mga non-APOR, meron tayong mga possible checkpoints sa inter-city so that we will not allow itong mga non-APORs na mag-cross dito po sa ating mga cities,” Eleazar said.

(So meaning, since we are in ECQ, these non-APORs, there would be possible inter-city checkpoints, where non-APORs would not be allowed.)

Consumer APORs would not be allowed to cross borders, according to Eleazar. The PNP chief said those who will need to buy goods should buy within their cities or municipality. 

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Under ECQ, public transportation would remain. On Wednesday, Eleazar said they would not allow the use of private cars for fetching because it could be abused. After a day, Eleazar flip-flopped and said they would allow the fetching scheme but with certain requirements. 

As of August 4, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country reached 1.6 million, with over 28,000 deaths related to COVID-19 complications. –

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.