MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa on Wednesday approved the procurement of 300 sets of protective gear for police officers in Metro Manila amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.
“I already approved the procurement of around 300 sets of protective gear. Our priority is the (National Capital Region Police Office) people because this is where there are reported cases. Then, we will also give some to camps. We continue to emphasize the basics: clean your hands, wash your hands, use alcohol,” Gamboa told reporters in a chance interview in Camp Crame.
Gamboa said all PNP units nationwide should have their designated area for the quarantine of personnel.
He also announced the cancelation of major programs as a preventive measure.
“For the meantime, we have canceled all major activities where there are many participants. Even our Pulisteniks (or) zumba every TTH (Tuesday, Thursday), we discontinued it but we will be establishing protocols because some say we can still hold some activities as long as we are not close to each other,” he said in Filipino.
These, Gamboa said, will include changes in the conduct of flag-raising ceremonies on Mondays and mass formations of police personnel.
He also said around 40,000 police officers will be deployed in entry and exit points in the region once the Department of Health, which leads the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), recommends the implementation of a lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
“We will be utilizing the NCRPO (which) has a strength of around 28,000, the PNP here in Camp Crame to include national support units is around 10,000. So more or less we have 38,000 to 40,000 to (be) utilized in case these things would come up,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the postponement of the barangay assembly day to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“While the holding of the barangay assembly day is important, we need to think of the greater good and ensure the general welfare of our people,” DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in a statement.
He said the increasing number of Covid-19 cases warrants decisive measures from the government such as postponing barangay assemblies and the cooperation of the public that would help avert a more serious scenario.
Barangay Assembly is a biannual meeting held on any Saturday and Sunday of March and October as mandated by Section 397 of the Local Government Code of 1991.
During such assemblies, village chiefs deliver the State-of-the Barangay Address highlighting their accomplishments and plans and programs for the year and discuss with their constituents the problems of the community and proposed solutions.
Año has also enjoined barangays in Metro Manila to activate their Local Covid-19 Task Forces (LCTFs) to aid in monitoring and preventing the spread of the disease in their communities. (PNA)