PNP releases ‘confusing’ flowchart to identify people authorized to go out during COVID-19 quarantine

April 16, 2020 - 9:44 PM
PNP during ECQ
Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

The Philippine National Police released a flowchart illustrating who could be authorized to go out during the enhanced community quarantine implemented over Luzon in an attempt to inform Filipinos.

The law enforcement agency was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to “strictly impose the policy of authorized persons outside of residence (APOR)” after authorities noticed a recent surge of private vehicles plying on roads despite the travel restrictions in place.

The PNP on its Twitter account shared a flowchart of the guidelines after a Filipino asked the Metro Manila Development Authority if she is allowed to fetch someone in Mandaluyong City even if she is from Taguig City

The PNP answered her query and said that authorities would not let her pass the quarantine checkpoints if she is not considered an APOR.

The agency then shared the flowchart of those authorized to go out and travel during the enhanced community quarantine set to last until April 30.

The same flowchart was posted on PNP’s Facebook page posted on March 27, 2020 but it was later on deleted.

Screenshot of the controversial Philippine National Police flowchart.

Flow chart confusion

Some Filipinos claimed that instead of clearly understanding the definition of APOR, the flowchart only “confused” them because of the way the agency had presented the information.

“Kung hindi po marunong gumawa ng flowchart, gumawa na lang ng table na may listahan ng pwede at hindi pwedeng lumabas,” a Facebook user said.

“Hello Sirs, I think the flowchart is incorrectly presented. No need for flowchart if you only want to distinguish both sides,” an online user from Twitter added.

Another Twitter user who claims to be a teacher commented that she would “throw” such a flowchart because of its design.

“Bihasa kami sa paggawa ng ganito kaya alam na namin paano siya gagawin,” she added with a crying emoji.

Some suggested that PNP should just present the guidelines in a “column” rather than a flowchart so that the public can easily distinguish who can go out and who cannot.

Meanwhile, the Twitter account of Skyway O&M Corporation, the operator of the South Metro Manila Skyway Project, shared a list of those who are authorized to go out amid the quarantine period in bullet forms.

A company that specializes in diagramming information said that flowcharts should “provide a clear view of how a process works.”

“A good flow chart helps to understand the systematic flow of information in the system. If a flow chart is not created properly, then it may mislead the designer of the system or may result in fatigue consequences,” Edraw Max said on its website.

“Therefore, it is very important that you create flow charts with caution and expertise,” it added.

PNP’s guidelines

PNP’s APOR states that the following are exempted from travel restrictions imposed during the enhanced community quarantine:

  • Workers under “basic services” like medical, funeral, security services 
  • Emergency responders 
  • Workers in utilities and daily essentials like banks and markets 
  • Workers involved in essential goods 
  • Skeleton forces of the government 
  • Media personalities 
  • Overseas Filipino workers 
  • Agribusiness and agricultural workers 
  • Civil aviation-related workers 

The law enforcement agency also stressed that only one person from the household is allowed to go out to buy basic necessities and essentials.

Extreme social distancing measures, home quarantine and restrictions on travel and movement are initiatives imposed to help “flatten the curve” or significantly slow down the virus’ transmission among a population.

Cabinet secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases spokesperson Karlo Nograles said that such measures would only be effective if “people will not roam around and go out” during the quarantine period.