An official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday vowed to be more strict in the implementation of the community quarantine in Metro Manila as the public is urged to cooperate with authorities to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, inspected Monday the entry and exit points which have been installed following the community quarantine in the National Capital Region due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
He reminded cops to prevent the entry of individuals who have no important matters to attend to in Metro Manila.
“Dapat malaman ng publiko kung ano ‘yung mga guidelines kung ikaw ba ay puwedeng pumasok o hindi,” Eleazar told reporters after he personally inspected community quarantine checkpoints along MacArthur Highway in Malanday, Valenzuela City.
“This is an ideal quarantine control point kung nasa boundary siya or border ng Metro Manila at this case Bulacan na ‘yung katabi. Ang tinitingnan natin protection ng ating pulis na tama naman they are observing social distancing as well as they are equipped the minimum requirement of protection,” he added.
Social distancing challenge in checkpoints
Eleazar admitted that social distancing is still not properly observed in the control points before entering Metro Manila.
Eleazar said drivers of vehicles, whether private or public, are also responsible for imposing social distancing among their passengers.
He said drivers should be knowledgeable on the allowed passenger capacity in vehicles.
“Pag mayroong hindi sumunod (social distancing), pababain. Huwag papasukin. The individual problems of motor vehicles, whether private or public, should be aware of this responsibility. Alam niya dapat kung ilan lang ang bilang ng dapat na nakasakay at kung paano idi-distribute ito. Even for private vehicles,” Eleazar said.
Police would also go around the community to remind them of the state of community quarantine.
Eleazar said that he observed significant compliance on the community quarantine in many areas in Metro Manila.
He clarified that those exempted in community quarantine are also included in the curfew.
Eleazar said that those who resist the authority and insist in entering the borders especially if they are not allowed would be accosted due to serious disobedience and direct assault.
But the priority of the police is to ask the people to cooperate, Eleazar said, as he also appealed to the public not to fear policemen manning checkpoints.
PNP needs more equipment
PNP chief, Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said that police need medical equipment for the checkpoints as part of the community quarantine in Metro Manila.
According to Gamboa, there has been a pending request with the Department of Health (DOH) on the additional medical equipment for the policemen to be protected against the Covid-19.
The police need face masks, gloves, and uniform with long sleeves, and goggles, he said.
“Maybe we will bring out the problem na ‘yung nga kung puwede mabigyan kami nitong mga gamit na ito [that if we could receive the equipment],” Gamboa said in a radio interview on Monday.
Despite the lack of equipment, police will continue its duty to man the checkpoints, Gamboa said.
“We are mandated to do something so alam namin ‘yung unnecessary risk we are going into but nevertheless kailangan gawin eh. We cannot wait,” Gamboa said.
Gamboa urged the public to cooperate with the authorities in implementing the community quarantine. (PNA)