MANILA – The daily average number of violators of the enhanced community quarantine decreased by more than 50 percent due to the three-pronged approach applied by law enforcers, the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) said Monday.
In a press statement, JTF CV Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said that from a daily average of 3,800 violators from March 17 to April 23, this declined to 1,574 from April 24 to May 3.
The first of the three-pronged approach, Eleazar said, is the conduct of intensified checkpoints in both quarantine control points (QCPs) where private vehicles and persons are being checked and dedicated control points (DCPs) where cargo vehicles are being checked.
The QCPs are manned by policemen and soldiers and other augmentation from local government units while the DCPs are manned and supervised by the PNP’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG).
“We consider QCPs and DCPs as our first layer of defense against the movement of virus carriers because these control points screen all the people moving from one place to another,” Eleazar added.
He said the second approach was the deployment of more policemen and soldiers in the community, particularly in areas where violations of home quarantine and physical distancing are rampant such as public markets.
The JTF CV Shield earlier deployed troops from the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) and soldiers who both utilized armored personnel carriers and military trucks in patrolling communities with a high number of violators on April 21.
Two days after the deployment of SAF and soldiers, Eleazar said they noticed a steep decline in the number of violators— from 3,036 violators on April 22 to 1,585 violators on April 23.
He said the third approach was the deployment of HPG personnel who conduct random mobile checkpoints in Metro Manila and other urban areas to apprehend private vehicles violating the home quarantine and physical distancing.
“The objective of the mobile checkpoints is to run after private car owners who make non-essential travels even if they are not allowed to do so. It is also aimed at checking if physical distancing is being followed inside the vehicle, especially on the rule that there should only be one person inside a car,” said Eleazar.
He also revealed that the mobile checkpoints are reinforced by the deployment of motorcycle-riding policemen who would chase private vehicles avoiding the mobile checkpoints under Oplan Habol.
HPG Director, Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz earlier said that both the mobile checkpoints and implementation of Oplan Habol are now being implemented across the country.
“Since we implemented these three approaches, we noticed a significant decline on the number of violators. In fact, the number of violators daily no longer breach the 2,000 mark in the past 10 days,” said Eleazar.
He said they will continue to be strict in implementing the ECQ guideline, especially that the public may presume that everything will be normalized again as most parts of the country were already placed under the General Community Quarantine.
“We remind the public to continue observing the rules on home quarantine, use of face masks and physical distancing because even if the ECQ is lifted, our lives will no longer be normal again,” Eleazar said. (ia/PNA)