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PNP prepares for possible lifting of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila

A soldier wearing a protective mask guards a street while children look out from a balcony, as the city undergoes a stricter lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread, in Pasay City, Philippines, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield (JTF COVID-19 Shield) expects that maintaining order in the National Capital Region (NCR) will become more ‘challenging’ once the Inter-Agency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) decides to place Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Philippine National Police Deputy Director for Operations PLtGen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of JTF COVID-19 Shield, predicted on Monday, May 11, that more people will leave their homes since the IATF allows more industries and establishments to operate in areas under GCQ compared to places that remain under enhanced community quarantine.

In response, Eleazar stressed that PNP will have to increase the presence of police near industries allowed to resume operations.

Yung pagpapatupad niyan, kinakailangan ng mas maraming police visibility sa mga areas kung saan ay permitted na itong operation ng mga establishment. Inaasahan natin na yung workforce nila ay nandoon natin at yung mga tao na mag-aavail ng goods at services na inoofer nila,” Eleazar said during DZRH’s Damdaming Bayan.

Sa ECQ, basically one per household lang ang pwedeng lumabas to avail the basic goods and services. While in GCQ, yung from 21 to 59 na mag-aavail ay pwepwede sa kanila. Pati na rin siguro yung mga senior citizen kung wala na talaga ibang mag-aavail,” he explained.

Eleazar said that the police will also have to ease or modify checkpoint operations across Metro Manila once the capital has been placed under general community quarantine.

We cannot just stop all the vehicles at i-check lahat iyan. Ang pwede natin gawin diyan ay mobile checkpoints or pwede rin na random or staggered na tinutukoy natin,” the PNP official said.

“Maaring yung pagbabantay natin diyan gagawin natin strategic so that we will not defeat the purpose of partially opening the economy at hindi naman magkakaron ng gridlock dito sa ating mga sasakyan na nasa labas, sa ating mga kalsada,” he explained.

Eleazar also assured the public that the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fire Protection will be prepared in case the IATF decides to lift the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila after May 15.

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