Cops required to carry stick to ensure physical distancing in border control points

Policemen who will man the border control points in the four adjacent provinces of the National Capital Region were tasked to bring with them a stick to ensure their safety while checking on motorists who would enter and leave the NCR Plus during the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine which will start on Monday.

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

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, deputy chief for Administration and commander of the PNP Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF), said the move is part of the guidance to police commanders in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite an Rizal to ensure the safety of their men amid the upsurge of coronavirus cases in the country that include the police organization.

“These sticks will be used to observe physical distancing and is aimed at ensuring that our personnel will prevent direct contact with the public while checking motorcycles and other vehicles,” said Eleazar.

Since March 15, the PNP has been recording an increase in the number of infected personnel, the figure has been consistently over 100. The highest recorded infection in the PNP in one day on March 26 with 316. On March 27, another 185 new cases were reported in the PNP.

On March 27, another PNP personnel, a 45-year Police Non-Commissioned Officer assigned at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) succumbed to complications due to coronavirus infection. He was the 37th PNP personnel who died of COVID-19.

“All our security personnel that would be tapped to implement the ECQ in the NCR Plus  area are reminded to strictly observe the minimum protocols on health safety,” said Eleazar.

“All concerned unit commanders are also reminded to ensure the provisions of the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment that includes at least face masks, face shields and sanitizers, to our personnel,” he added.

The ECQ implementation starts on Monday, March 29, in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal. The ECQ rules and regulations include the 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew implementation.

Aside from the implementation of the ECQ, Eleazar said PNP personnel will also be active in the aggressive vaccination program of the national government, especially in the transportation of the vaccines and securing the vaccination sites.

“With another ECQ in place, the national government will be distributing another Social Amelioration Program for the people who would be affected by the strict quarantine rules and our personnel will be among those who will be tapped in securing the distribution of these assistance from the national government,” said Eleazar.

He also that the PNP will also be part of the Epidemio-Logical Surveillance Unit which will implement the OPLAN Kalinga, an aggressive monitoring and contact-tracing move of the government to identify and isolate those who are infected with the coronavirus.

But he was quick to clarify that the PNP would just be on a supporting role for the local ESUs if in case there will be a conduct of house-to-house visit.

“Our personnel will just be in a supporting role similar to the SAP distribution, vaccine deployment and other COVID-19 related tasks that require security assistance.  Everybody is watching, all our personnel are regularly being reminded of our role. Sanctions will be meted to those who will do otherwise,” said Eleazar.

 “The PNP plays a key role in the enforcement of the quarantine rules. Being at the frontlline, it is incumbent upon each and every PNP personnel to ensure their own protection by observing the minimum health safety protocol that was proven to be effective as a shield to the coronavirus infection. We cannot afford to have a high infection rate because the PNP is among the government’s backbone in the fight against this deadly virus,” said Eleazar.