MANILA – Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa on Thursday appealed to labor groups to refrain from holding Labor Day protest actions amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Gamboa said he is aware of plans by militant cause-oriented groups to stage public assembly and mass actions in several venues to observe the occasion on Friday.
“Much as we respect their right to peaceably assemble, out of the exigency of the health crisis situation, we beg to discourage them from pursuing these plans for their own safety and in the best interest of public health,” he said in a virtual press conference.
He said the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is to protect right to life of its people amid the pandemic.
He said that arrests, detention, fines, and other penalties for violating ECQ rules are imposed to hold violators accountable.
Mass gatherings are prohibited under the guidelines of the ECQ and the general community quarantine (GCQ).
Metro Manila and other “high risk areas” will remain under the ECQ until May 15 while other areas in the country will be under GCQ beginning Friday.
Meanwhile, Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said labor organizations should instead focus their efforts on coming up with health protection-related strategic plans to help workers prepare themselves under the “new normal” situation once the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted.
“Everyday, we see news reports and social media posts about how the quarantine affected the life of the ordinary workers and their family because their workplaces were forced to either limit or shut down the business operations,” he said. (IA/PNA)