The Philippine National Police (PNP) has committed to deploy thousands of policemen to enforce unified curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from March 15 to 31 in Metro Manila to enforce the unified curfew in the area, a move designed “to address the spike in Covid-19 cases.”
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP officer-in-charge, said their augmentation forces will come from the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG), the Reactionary Standby Support Force (RSSF) and other units that have been directed before to conduct Red Teaming operations while other personnel will be tapped as the need for more police visibility arises.
Eleazar said the augmentation troops will assist the 9,634 policemen from the Quezon City Police District, Manila Police District, Eastern Police District, Northern Police District and Southern Police District. The deployment, he said includes the setting up of more than 373 checkpoints in various strategic areas which will be reinforced by beat and mobile car patrollers at the barangay level.
“The mission is plain and simple: All police forces will strictly implement the Uniform Curfew Hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will ensure that people in Metro Manila observe the minimum health safety standard protocol,” he said.
Eleazar, who also heads the PNP Administrative Support on Covid-19 Task Force, assured the deployed PNP personnel they will be provided maximum protection against the Covid-19.
Joint Task Force COVID Shield chief Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag said the deployed cops underearnt pre-deployment briefing to reiterate the existing policies especially from the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the rules on regulations on uniform curfew hours from the Metro Manila Council.
Eleazar also reminded PNP personnel to observe maximum tolerance, respect the people’s rights and avoid confrontation with the public. “We will be closely monitoring your compliance,” he told them.
He likewise urged the public to refrain from unnecessary confrontation and spare themselves from arrest by respecting the rules on observance of the minimum health safety standard protocols and the authorities that are enforcing these protocols.
“The keyword here is respect. If we respect one another, I assure you of smooth curfew implementation. Let us always bear in mind that your PNP is not the enemy here. Our common enemy is the coronavirus and it takes our cooperation to contain its spread,” he stressed.
Eleazar said exempted from the curfew rule are medical doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and other workers of medical facilities while on their way to and from work; attendants of persons dealing with emergency medical situation, persons obtaining emergency medical assistance for themselves or for other persons;
Drivers of delivery trucks while on their way to deliver essential goods/products; owners, vendors and other persons involved in the transport and delivery of essential goods; private employees such as call center agents while on their way to and from work; construction workers on their way to and from work; media players while performing their job;
Persons travelling to or from airport prior to or after a flight; drivers of private transportation used as shuttle services while on their way to and from work; members of law enforcement agencies including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and other emergency responders; security guards; and employees of open ‘take-out’ fast-foods.