Since the start of the enhanced community quarantine—which has just recently been extended until May 15 in the NCR and other high-risk areas—movement around cities and across borders has been very limited.
And while medical staff and personnel have been given priority at checkpoints, it seems the situation hasn’t been as smooth-sailing as the government would have wanted it to be: The Department of Health (DOH) has received reports of some physicians being denied passage through some checkpoints because said physicians are not being recognized as doctors.
The agency has since made a statement to clarify that physicians are indeed doctors, and that these are just different terms for the same profession.
“Gusto ko lang po linawin na marami pong nagsasangguni sa amin at sana po ay linawin natin na ang mga physicians po ay mga doktor po. Ito po ay pareho lang na term,” said DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a recent press briefing.
“So yun pong mga naguguluhan, lalung-lalo na po sa mga borders na kailangang dumaan ng ating mga physician, ayaw daw po silang padaanin dahil hindi nga po naiintindihan na ang physicians po ay doktor din po.” she added.
If you’re a physician yourself and are having difficulty passing through checkpoints, we hope the DOH’s clarification will make things easiers for you. And since you’re already here, we strongly suggest you apply for a RapidPass if you haven’t already, just so you can move around easier.
There are 180 checkpoints around Metro Manila, and as of this writing, more than 20 of these checkpoints—mostly those separating the capital from neighboring provinces—are already utilizing the RapidPass system, according to the Department of Science and Technology. For more info on how you can secure your pass, click here. You also might want to share the information with other healthcare workers who could use it, too.