The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy thousands of policemen to enforce unified curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday in Metro Manila.
PNP officer in charge Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the deployment of additional cops aims “to address the spike in Covid-19 cases.”
“In consultation with our Chief PNP, Gen. Debold Sinas, I have ordered the deployment of additional policemen to augment the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in the implementation of uniform curfew hours in Metro Manila from March 15 to March 31, 2021,” Eleazar said.
He said the police augmentation forces will come from the 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.
A total of 9,634 policemen from the Quezon City Police District, Manila Police District, Eastern Police District, Northern Police District and Southern Police District will also be deployed to assist to enforce the curfew, he said.
Eleazar said the deployment includes the setting up of more than 373 checkpoints in various strategic areas that 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.
He said the strong police visibility in Metro Manila is anchored on the tried and tested formula which was implemented in Metro Manila in April last year and in Cebu City in June also last year.
Eleazar, also commander of the PNP Administrative Support on Covid-19 Task Force, assured the PNP personnel who will be deployed will be provided with maximum protection against Covid-19.
Joint Task Force COVID Shield chief Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag said all cops will undergo a 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.
“The implementation of curfew hours is not something that is new to us, especially for the NCRPO personnel now under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. We have been doing this even before the Covid-19 pandemic so I expect our personnel to be fully aware and maintain the protocols that we have been observing in the implementation of curfew and at the same time, the minimum health safety standard protocols,” Eleazar said.
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 said.
He also urged the public to prevent 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 know how to 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 the spread of the virus,” he added.
For the information of the public and to avoid confusion in the implementation of the uniform curfew hours, Eleazar said exempted from the implementation of the curfew hours are:
– Medical practitioners, nurses, ambulance drivers and other workers of medical facilities while on their way to and from work;
– Attendants of other persons dealing with an emergency medical situation;
– Persons who are 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 while on their way to and from work;
– Media practitioners while performing their job;
– Persons who are 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 (LEAs), including Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, and other emergency responders;
– security guards; and employees of open fast-foods (take out only).