More cops, more checkpoints as uniform curfew hours in Metro Manila starts on Monday night

Published March 14, 2021, 3:57 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Thousands of policemen will be deployed and hundreds of checkpoints will be set up in various areas in Metro Manila as the uniform implementation of curfew in the metropolis starts on Monday night, March 15.

(Photo via Aaron Recuenco)

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Officer-In-Charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) alone would be deploying more than 9,600 of its personnel on the streets as early as the scheduled start of curfew time at 10 p.m. on Monday.

“We will also be deploying additional personnel to augment the NCRPO policemen and assist the Local Government Units of Metro Manila in the implementation of the uniform curfew,” said Eleazar.

The uniform curfew, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., was approved by Metro Manila mayors to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the upsurge of cases in the past days. On Saturday, March 13, alone, a total of 5,000 new cases were reported.

Eleazar said the augmentation will come from the Highway Patrol Group and the Camp Crame-based Reactionary Standby Support Force (RSSF). He said additional personnel will be tapped anytime if there would be a need for more policemen.

Eleazar said policemen are expected to man the more than 373 checkpoints that would be set up in various strategic areas of Metro Manila while the rest would either go on foot patrol or conduct mobile patrol operations.

“The mission is plain and simple: All police forces will strictly implement the uniform curfew hour from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will ensure that minimum health safety standard protocols are observed.

He said police visibility has been proven to be effective in compelling the people to behave, similar to what happened in Metro Manila in April last year when they deployed Special Action Force commandos and in Cebu in June.

The two test cases of police visibility resulted in the significant decline of apprehended violators, significant reduction in crime and eventually a decline in COVID-19 cases.

Eleazar said those who will be deployed to enforce the curfew and quarantine protocols will be subjected to pre-deployment briefing on the curfew rules and regulations and at the same time, the existing policies on the the implementation of quarantine protocols.

Exempted Based on the PNP, the following are exempted from the implementation of the uniform curfew hours in Metro Manila:

  1. Medical practitioners, nurses, ambulance drivers and other workers of Medical Facilities while on their way to and from work;
  2. Attendants of other persons dealing with an emergency medical situation;
  3. Persons who are obtaining emergency medical assistance for themselves or for other persons;
  4. Drivers of delivery trucks while on their way to deliver essential goods/products;
  5. Owners, vendors and other persons involved in the transport and delivery of essential goods;
  6. Private employees such as call center agents while on their way to and from work;
  7. Construction workers while on their way to and from work;
  8. Media practitioners while performing their job;
  9. Persons who are travelling to or from airport prior to or after a flight;
  10. Drivers of private transportation used as shuttle services while on their way to and from work;
  11. Members of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), including AFP, PCG, BFP, and other emergency responders;
  12. Security guards; and,
  13. Employees of Open Fast Foods (take-out only)