By Martin Sadongdong
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday vowed to effectively implement President Duterte’s order to extend the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) measures in Metro Manila and other high-risk regions, provinces, and cities and a general community quarantine (GCQ) in low-risk areas until May 15.
“We will make the necessary adjustments in our troop deployment in coordination with the PNP and the LGUs in accordance with the changes in the implementation of community quarantine,” said Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will be a “big challenge” to enforce the extended community quarantine as it was expanded to cover a wider area in Luzon and other parts of the country.
“Malaking hamon sa PNP ang pagpapalawig ng ECQ sa malaking bahagi ng Luzon at iba pang lugar sa kabila ng iba pang mga tungkulin na kailangang gampanan ng PNP (The expansion of the ECQ into a bigger portion of Luzon and other areas is a big challenge for the PNP in addition to the other duties that we have to perform),” said Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson.
Banac cited the increasing number of police officers who are being infected by COVID-19 while manning hundreds of quarantine checkpoints. At present, Banac said there were 78 police officers who have acquired the virus.
Nonetheless, Banac said the PNP is ready to do its part to prevent the further spread of the virus. He assured that the police officers deployed for ECQ duties have enough medical support and equipment.
A regular rotation of duty is also being implemented to give the police officers enough time to have a break and recover from their ECQ duties, he noted.
“Sa tulong ng mga LGU at kooperasyon ng taumbayan, magiging mas madali ang aming trabaho na ipatupad ang ECQ (With the help from the LGU and the cooperation of the public, our duty to implement the ECQ will be easier),” Banac said.