Yesterday, Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar said that the PNP will intensify its police visibility as more and more areas switch from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ). With businesses set to reopen in these areas, the PNP said that added police visibility will help curtail criminal activity in places under GCQ.
But does this mean that the checkpoints in GCQ areas will now be removed due to the more relaxed guidelines? The answer is: no.
The PNP recently announced that the checkpoints will remain amid the increased police visibility. According to PNP Director for Operations, Police Major General Luis Licup, the quarantine control points (QCPs) are key tools in implementing the lockdown guidelines in both ECQ and GCQ areas. Moreover, the PNP will also ensure that minimum health requirements in establishments under GCQ will be followed.
“Tuloy-tuloy yung checkpoints natin although siguro random ang checkpoints. Ang gagawin natin magtatalaga rin tayo ng tauhan upang ipadala sa establishments to ensure ang compliance ng mga establishments, lalo na sa mga mall na magbubukas,” said, Licup.
[The checkpoints will continue, although it is random. What we will do it to assign personnel to the establishments to ensure compliance, especially the malls that will open.]
Meanwhile, PNP Chief Archie Gamboa said that they are currently awaiting for specific guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on what will be allowed under modified ECQ or GCQ. In addition, the PNP will also make a study on the effect of the 'new normal' situation brought about by the developments in the government's community quarantine.
“There is a meeting of our study group which is headed by our chief directorial staff to study really the effect of the new normal at the PNP and there are a lot of changes to be made and I told them if possible, we can come up with that policy soonest possible because this coming Saturday, May 16, there will be a different situation as some areas are will be under GCQ,” said Gamboa.
With the PNP's job set to become a lot harder under modified ECQ and GCQ, we all have to do our part in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Unless it is absolutely necessary, please stay inside your homes during ECQ or GCQ, wash your hands, and always wear a face mask while outside. And if you have to cross checkpoints, always make sure you have an I.D. and a valid reason as to why you're outside of your home.