Akilit slams abuse in issuance of fake food passes

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BAUKO, Mountain Province  – The municipal government slammed the alleged proliferation of fake food passes being used by unscrupulous individuals to smuggle locally stranded individuals (LSIs) into the different parts of the province and other neighboring localities during this period.

Mayor Abraham B. Akilit disclosed that due to discovered illegal entry of LSIs on board vehicles with food passes, such vehicles are still subjected to undergo the established protocols in the quarantine checkpoints to ascertain the authenticity and validity of their documents and their cargo before proceeding to their points of destination in the municipality and other parts of the province.

He pointed out that compelling vehicles with food passes to undergo the protocols in the quarantine checkpoints is not violated of the existing directive for the same to be unhampered because said vehicles will still be allowed to proceed to their points of destination if their documents are complete and if they are really transporting goods.

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The municipal chief executive admitted that the use of the food pass had been grossly abused because even cars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) had been issued such passes but when subjected to the checkpoint protocols, it was discovered that said vehicles were not transporting off but instead LSIs on board compelling law enforcers to order the vehicles to go back to their points of origin.

According to him, personnel managing the quarantine checkpoints also discovered that food passes possessed by drivers of cars and SUVs state that such passes were issued for trucks transporting frozen goods, among other agricultural crops, but actually were loaded with LSIs wanting to go home to their places, not only in the province, but also in other parts of the Ilocos Region coming from different places in the Cagayan Valley Region using Mountain Province as pass through.

Mayor Akilit stipulated that personnel managing quarantine checkpoints in the municipality have been given the mandate to strictly established protocols to protect the health and safety of the people in the different communities and to prevent the possible local transmission of the deadly virus.

He stated the municipal government is contemplating on taking over the issuance of food passes to qualified residents of the municipality and those wanting to deliver goods and other food items to ensure that the same will not be abused by unscrupulous individuals wanting to take advantage of the situation.

The municipal mayor revealed that the quarantine checkpoints in the different entry and exit points in the municipality will remain even if the province had been downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) low risk status until July 15, 2020 because local officials do not want that the COVID-free status of the locality to be compromised once people flock into the town without being subjected to the existing health and safety protocols.

Bauko is the gateway from Benguet to other parts of Mountain Province, Ifugao and Kalinga as well as other parts of the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions.

By Hent

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