Planning to leave your province or the metro under GCQ? What you should know

Yes, the government did say moving around would be easier under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), and that is mostly true within your province or, if you are in Metro Manila, within the capital region.

But what about leaving your province or Metro Manila – are you allowed? And if so, would you need to present anything to police or soldiers at border checkpoints?

It will depend largely on your reason for traveling.

Here are lists of who qualifies for which kind of travel, according to requirements:

No quarantine pass

Everyone can now step out of their homes without a quarantine pass – unless you are in a critical area on lockdown because of a high incidence of COVID-19 cases.

You won’t need a quarantine pass to go to the nearest mall or grocery store for a food-and-supplies run, or if you work in the same city or municipality you live in.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government however reminds everyone that: 

  • This is not a free, unlimited pass; local governments will still impose curfews.
  • Local governments may decide to require quarantine passes, so it’s best to check with your barangay or city/municipal hall.
Without travel authority

You won’t need travel authority – a document clearing you to travel – from your local police station if: 

  • You have a family or medical emergency and you’re traveling within the same province.
  • You have a family or medical emergency and you’re traveling within Metro Manila.
  • You are leaving your province or Metro Manila because of a death in the immediate family, a critical medical emergency or treatment such as dialysis, or some other life-or-death situation.
  • You are an “authorized person outside of residence” (APOR), that is, you are a medical frontliner or you work for an industry that’s allowed to operate under GCQ or MGCQ.

If you’re an APOR, you need to bring your company ID and a certificate of employment while you travel.

With travel authority

In the following instances, you will need travel authority from the local police office. You may obtain travel authority if: 

  • You’re leaving your province to attend to a family or medical emergency.
  • You’re leaving Metro Manila to attend to a family or medical emergency.
  • You are a “locally stranded individual” going home to your province.
  • You are a “locally stranded individual” (LSI) going home to Metro Manila.

If you are a student, worker, or any person who got stranded in a place, unable to go home, during the imposition of enhanced community quarantine, then you’re a locally stranded individual.

Travel for leisure still isn’t allowed. The police won’t give you travel authority to go on vacation.

Where and how to get travel authority?

Check on the map if your destination is within your province, outside your province, or outside your administrative region.

For example, if you’re in Pangasinan (Region I) and you’re traveling to Tarlac (Region III), you’re actually traversing two regions even if these provinces are next to each other.

Get your travel authority from: 

  • The chief of the city or municipal police station if you’re traveling to another province within the same region
  • The director of the district, provincial, or city police unit if you’re traveling outside your region or leaving Metro Manila
  • Directors of higher police offices than the above, who can also grant travel authority

You will need a medical clearance certificate from the city or municipal health office. Once you have it, submit it to the help desk of the appropriate police office.

If and when your request for travel authority is approved, the help desk officer will call or message you to pick up your hard copy at the station. You may choose to have them send you a soft copy through e-mail or messaging apps like Messenger or Viber.

When you’re cleared to travel, remember to put on a face mask and observe health protocols like physical distancing to avoid contracting or transmitting the novel coronavirus.

These guidelines were announced by Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, commander of Joint Task Force COVID-Shield, on Wednesday, June 3. – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.

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