The Philippine National Police (PNP) will only provide assistance to health workers, and local government officials in the implementation of ‘Oplan Kalinga’ program, particularly in conducting house to house searches for 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) patients.
PLtGen. Guillermo Eleazar, director for operations of PNP, said that police will only ensure the orderly conduct of the Oplan Kalinga program.
“Hindi kami mag-sasarili diyan na basta mag-barge in. Mag-aassist tayo sa mga health workers na mas nakakaalam kung sino at saan pupuntahang itong mga taong ito para matulungan,” Eleazar, commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said during DZRH’s Coffee Break.
The National Task Force on COVID-19 launched the ‘Oplan Kalinga’ program that seeks to bring patients, who exhibit mild symptoms of the respiratory illness, to government quarantine facilities in order to reduce the risk of local transmission.
Senators Franklin Drilon and Risa Hontiveros voiced their concern regarding the program after Department of Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Ano revealed that the PNP will help in conducting the house-to-house screening.
Eleazar stressed that Oplan Kalinga will favor households that cannot meet the requirements set by the National Task for COVID-19 for home quarantine.
“Yung sinasabi natin mga positive na mild, tapos ayaw umalis na bahay, dikit-dikit naman kayo ng mga kamag-anak diyan, iyon ang problema natin kaya dapat natin dalhin sa isolation facilities,” Eleazar stressed.
He mentioned that COVID-19 patients have their own room, and comfort room inside the quarantine facilities constructed by the national government.
The PNP official warned that Republic Act 11332, also known as the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, penalizes infected individuals for non-cooperation.
Under RA 11332, violators can face a fine of not less than Php 20,000 but not more than Php 50,000, and imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months.
“Kung sa pagmamatigas niya, it will infect others na hindi natin ma-kokontrol na, we have to do something about this,” Eleazar said.
“Lahat tayo may karapatan, maraming karapatan, pero kung at stake na yung ating right to live, ibang usapan na iyan. Yung ibang karapatan dapat will be subjected dito na sa karapatang mabuhay. Ang iniisip natin diyan yung karapatan mabuhay ng iba natin mga kababayan,” he added.
Eleazar urged people to cooperate with health authorities and local government officials for the safety of their family and neighbors.