Police chiefs ordered to recalibrate health, safety measures

Published October 17, 2020, 4:48 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield has ordered all police commanders to recalibrate their security and health safety measures as policymakers of the national government decided to further ease the community restrictions to revive the economy that was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said the easing of restrictions would be a challenge for those mandated to enforce the quarantine rules since more people would be allowed to go out and more industries would be allowed to operate.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (PNP / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

“While a lot of industries were allowed to operate in the past months, there are only limited people who were able to avail of the goods and services because of the restrictions on the movement of the people. Our policy-makers deem it logical to allow more people to go out to avail of these goods and services because this is actually what the re-opening of the economy is really intended for,” said Eleazar.

“The decision to further ease the restrictions is a big challenge to your Joint Task Force COVID Shield in terms of implementing the quarantine rules. That is why it is important that our commanders on the ground must re-strategize in order to continue ensuring the protection of the people,” he added.

Based on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), the age restriction to stay out of their homes was adjusted to 15- to 65-years-old. The rules on crossing borders were also eased while there are more people who were both included in the list of the Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) and exemption from curfew.

The IATF also allowed beach volleyball competitions, horse-racing, and cockfighting but subject to the guideline that the IATF-MEID would be released soon.

Eleazar said local police commanders were tasked to strengthen coordination with their respective local government units, specifically on the curfew implementation and in beefing up police visibility in business districts and in other areas frequented by the people.

“The role of the LGUs is now very essential now that the restrictions were further eased. It is important then for our police commanders to initiate moves to maximize the use of force multipliers such as barangay tanods, security guards, and the Public Order and Safety personnel of the LGUs,” said Eleazar.

“They should work closely and constantly under one objective, which is to ensure that the protection of the public against the coronavirus infection will not be sacrificed on our way to the gradual normalization of our economic and daily activities,” he added.

Eleazar appealed to the public to always exercise precaution in going out by strictly and properly observing the minimum health safety standard protocols being implemented by the government.

“I assure the public that your health safety is guaranteed if you would only follow these rules and make personal hygiene such as frequent washing of hands a habit in this time of pandemic. These rules and health protection measures were studied and proven effective by the health experts,” said Eleazar.