Eleazar orders more police visibility in business districts as more establishments reopen

Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered police commanders Monday to increase police visibility in business districts in their areas of responsibility after the National Task Force on COVID-19 approved the operation of more business establishments starting Sept. 1 in the midst of the pandemic.

He issued the directive as more people are expected to troop to the business establishments that “were closed for a long time due to the strict implementation of community quarantine.’’

In the "Laging Handa" press briefing, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said those allowed to operate starting Tuesday are testing and tutorial centers, review centers, gyms, fitness centers, personal grooming, and pet grooming shops.

“The easing of restrictions is for the sake of our economy. It does not mean that we should also lower our guard. The threat of coronavirus infection is still there so we should always be alert and continue doing our mandate of protecting the public from virus transmission,” said Eleazar.

Eleazar maintained that local commanders should closely coordinate with their respective local government units (LGUs) in coming up with operational guidelines for the enforcement of the quarantine rules based on the existing rules and regulations being implemented by LGUs.

He explained that owners and store managers of the business establishments that were allowed to operate starting Sept. 1 must also be reminded all the time to observe the minimum health safety standard protocols for their employees and customers.

Eleazar said that part of the anti-COVID-19 measures that should be implemented is the strengthening of police visibility in business districts, especially during the expected opening days as people would flock in the area to avail of the services.

“Local commanders can also tap the barangay officials for the deployment of barangay tanods as force multipliers, or the Public Order and Safety Personnel of cities and municipalities to augment the local police,”said Eleazar.

“We should anticipate all the eventualities that may occur and these must be included in the planning and implementation in order to ensure that the quarantine rules are observed,” he added.

Eleazar urged the public “not to go to other areas to avail of the services of the business establishments that would be allowed to re-open if there are the same establishments offering the same services in their respective communities."