MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said it is ready to be utilized in the “whole-of-government approach” in containing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“We are preparing for the possibility that AFP facilities and personnel may be tapped to provide assistance in the ‘whole of government’ approach in combatting Covid-19 that has raised alarms worldwide,” AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos, Jr. said in a media statement.
Even before President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a “State of Public Health Emergency” on Monday, Santos said he has already instructed the AFP Health Services Command to institute preventive measures to ensure that military camps have the necessary and stringent safeguards against the disease.
“Corollary to this, we have already instituted contingency measures, like body temperature checking before entering key military camps, the establishment of a testing center at AFP Medical Center, and a moratorium on sending AFP personnel to foreign travels except when necessary, among other safeguards,” he added.
Santos also said military personnel and civilian human resources were also urged to practice personal hygiene diligently to mitigate the risks of disease from spreading AFP units and offices.
He also said the AFP is ready to assist the Philippine National Police on the possible implementation of a lockdown amid the Covid-19 threat.
“(The) AFP will assist PNP if ever there will be one. (It depends on the situation), we have forces in NCR and if needed, we can have more,” he added.
As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country has increased to 33. (PNA)