Border control points cause traffic jam on first day of Metro Manila ECQ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — Long lines of vehicles in some major thruways welcomed motorists on Friday as authorities set up more checkpoints on the first day of hard lockdown in Metro Manila.

There were traffic jams in the borders connecting Laguna and Cavite to the National Capital Region. Motorists, commuters, and cyclists were stopped by the police to check if they are on essential trips since only authorized persons of residence or APORs are allowed to travel during the two-week enhanced community quarantine period.

Some commuters from Laguna opted to walk due to the long line of traffic and shortage of available public transport.

"Nahirapan akong sumakay ngayon. Walang jeep, kita niyo naman walang dumadaan," Weng Rosales told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: It's hard to find rides. There are no jeepneys passing.]

Motorcycle drivers also weathered long lines in the border of Las Piñas and Cavite just to undergo police inspection.

Jun Concepcion said he might be late for work due to the number of checkpoints he had to go through.

PLt. Arnel Datul, the station commander of Alabang-Zapote Viaduct, appealed to the public to be more patient because they want to ensure that the virus will not spread because of the unessential trips of some motorists and commuters.

Some travelers have been turned away after authorities found that their trips were not for essential work or vaccination.

"Matagal na itong guidelines natin, one week before na-announce na natin. So hindi po considered essential movement po 'yun kaya hindi natin pinapasok," he said.

[Translation: Our guidelines were announced a week ago. Some trips are not considered essential so we did not allow them to push through.]

At least 89 quarantine control points were established and over 1,200 police personnel were deployed across Metro Manila during the ECQ period that will last until Aug. 20.

The situation in the border of Quezon City and San Mateo in Rizal was better, with authorities lamenting that the public seems to be more used to the restrictions since this is the third time the region was placed under the strictest ECQ.

Personnel said motorists and passengers now know that their identification cards should be prepared ahead of the checkpoint, lessening the traffic jam.

CNN Philippines' Rex Remitio and David Santos contributed to this report.