Police units in areas affected by tropical storm “Lannie” were ordered to assist the local government units (LGUs) in disaster response, particularly on the preemptive evacuation of residents.
Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said that the order was initially relayed to area commanders of Western Visayas and the Mimaropa (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) which would be directly affected by the weather disturbance.
The same order was also issued to other areas that would be affected by the weather disturbance.
“Our area commanders concerned have been instructed to coordinate with the LGUs on how they could assist in preventing casualties and in quick response on the needs of the residents,” said Eleazar.
The priority, according to Eleazar, is the preemptive evacuation of residents living in coastal areas and flood and landslide-prone areas.
According to state weather bureau PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), “Lannie” is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over Western Visayas and MIMAROPA, while light to moderate, at times, heavy rains is expected in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) , Bicol Region, and Mindanao.
PAGASA said Lannie is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday.
The PNP has long been in the frontline of disaster preparedness and response. Policemen are usually tapped in the conduct of preemptive evacuation, search and rescue and distribution of relief goods to the affected population.
Eleazar appealed to the public to follow instruction of law enforcers and local chief executives to ensure their safety amid the weather disturbance.
“I would like to remind the public to immediately heed the advice of your respective localities should they require preemptive evacuation because this is for your own safety. In the event of the establishment of evacuation centers, our police personnel should continue to strictly enforce minimum public health standards among evacuees to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Eleazar said.