The Joint Task Force COVID Shield ordered all police commanders to increase police visibility in business districts and public places especially in the city and town proper as part of health and safety measures following the decision of the national government to ease further restrictions to revive the economy affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said police commanders were also tasked to employ strategic deployment and coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) to utilize barangay security officers as force multipliers.
“The enforcement of community quarantine rules is challenging as more people are allowed to go out. But we assure local government units and the public that the JTF COVID Shield will be at the frontline in maintaining the balance between the need to reopen the economy and our mandate to protect the people from coronavirus infection through strict, proper, and strategic enforcement of the health [and] safety protocols,” said Eleazar.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has eased restrictions by allowing more industries like cockfighting and horse-racing to operate, and lessening the age restrictions for those allowed to go out.
Hotels were already allowed to operate at 100 percent, while churches and other places of worship were already given a go-signal to operate at 30 percent capacity.
Eleazar explained that the regular presence of policemen and mobile patrol cars in the business district and other public places will compel people to make it a habit that they follow minimum standards of health and safety, knowing that policemen would be on constant watch and ready to remind and accost them in case of any violation.
Eleazar also instructed police commanders to regularly coordinate with LGUs to plan and implement strategic deployment of barangay tanods (as force multipliers), and the City and Municipal Public Order and Safety to maximize the enforcement of quarantine rules in business districts and other regular places of convergence in their respective areas of responsibility.
“The fight against COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. This is not a battle of the government alone, this is also a battle of every Filipino to prevent our home, our community, and our country from being invaded by this unseen enemy,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar also called on the public to exercise precaution in protecting themselves by at least following minimum health and safety protocols, saying this would make enforcement easier for the JTF COVID Shield. It would also be a big factor in eventually winning the fight against the coronavirus.