Traffic violators, 'confused' motorists during the first hour of NCR Community Quarantine was on the scene last night at the boundary of Cavite and Metro Manila, alongside with the authorities during the first hour of the NCR-wide implementation of the community quarantine. Under the directive, the nation's capital will be put under a limited quarantine and all non-important travels e.g: leisure travel, midnight food run, etc. will be prohibited.

COVID-19: First hour of lockdown image

While was there to basically observe and take photos of the things as they unfold, but we can't help but notice that many of our fellow motorcycle riders, who were eventually subjected to verification process as per quarantine guidelines, were found to be traffic violators.

Petty traffic violations

For the many, many riders that went through the checkpoint, many were found to be wearing slippers, as well as non-standard motorcycle crash helmets. The police manning the checkpoint were nice enough to let them go with just a warning.

COVID-19: First hour of lockdown image

Other petty violations that were let go without a ticket: overloading, faulty lights, and MC Taxi riders who were still ferrying passengers caught in the suspension deadline set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Office (LTO). What's bothering is that there were at least two or three motorcycle riders during the first hour of the quarantine that were caught riding without a valid driver's license or no valid motorcycle registration (or both).

Those motorcycle riders were issued with the appropriate citation tickets.

Traffic, confusion, etc.

Since this was the first time in history that a community quarantine was put in effect that will last until midnight of April 14, it can't be helped that there will be confusion on both the authorities and the public. For example, some motorists (on cars) last night claimed to be oblivious to what's going on and were complaining about the traffic jam that the checkpoints have caused.

COVID-19: First hour of lockdown image

Some jeepney drivers even cut their trip short, according to one passenger, since the driver thought he will not be permitted entry to the city. In Laguna-Muntinlupa boundary, some motorcycle riders were complaining that the authorities have prohibited pillion riding altogether, even though they are not a partner-rider of JoyRide, Angkas or Move It.

COVID-19: First hour of lockdown image

One of the police officers last night, who requested to remain anonymous, has said in Filipino that if someone has nothing important to do outside, it is best to just stay at home “People should be aware by now about the President's announcement [live telecast] two days ago, and yet here they are out on the streets partying. If they have a non-important business outside, just stay at home. It will also make our jobs easier and will help prevent the spread of the [COVID-19].”

While this is just one part of the whole system of checkpoints set by the authorities, we couldn't help but imagine the difficulties our hardworking men and women of the PNP, AFP, and the barangay will be facing from some uncooperative citizens. Let us, for the love of God, just stay home and do our part as citizens and follow government directives to combat COVID-19.