Eleazar offers use of PNP speedboats, choppers for quick COVID vaccine transport

Published May 20, 2021, 12:57 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Speedboats and helicopters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been placed on standby for the transportation of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines as the national government prepares for the roll-out of vaccination for essential workers and indigent Filipinos.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said he had already ordered the Maritime Group and the Special Action Force to prepare their respective sea and air assets for the deployment of vaccines in various parts of the country.

“Bilang tugon sa direktiba ng ating SILG (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government) Eduardo Año, inatasan ko ngayon ang Maritime Group at ang Special Action Force na ihanda ang mga PNP speedboat at helicopter upang magamit sa pagdadala ng mga bakuna sa mga isla at mga malalayong lugar para sa ating mga kababayan (In response to the directive of Secretary Eduardo Año, I ordered today (May 20) the Maritime Group and the SAF to prepare their speedboats and helicopters for the transport of the vaccines),” said Eleazar.

photo: PNP-PIO

“I also directed all commanders to prepare all the vehicles that could be used and to prepare deployment and security plan for our personnel who would assist in the transportation of vaccines and in securing vaccination sites,” he added.

The PNP Maritime Group has almost 200 floating assets that could be readily deployed to transport COVID-19 vaccines.

The SAF, on the other hand, said that it is ready to use four of the seven helicopters for this purpose. The three other PNP helicopters are currently under three-week preventive maintenance.

The PNP is among the agencies tasked Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to ensure the speedy delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte directed the Department to supervise their safe transport and proper handling in view of reports of wastage.

“We are also coordinating with the Deparment of Health and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for a quick and well-coordinated transport of vaccines,” said Eleazar.

He also assured that the PNP would be up to the task of safely transporting and distributing the COVID-19 jabs.