IN coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Police General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield instructed all police commanders to intensify visibility in transportation hubs and other areas where commuters usually converge to avail of public transport.
Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said public utility vehicles like jeepneys and buses must also be randomly checked to ensure that all passengers are complying with the minimum health safety standard protocols.
These include wearing of face masks and face shields as well as observing proper physical distancing based on the guidelines issued by the National Task Force on COVID-19 chaired by Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana.
“As the national government lifted some of the restrictions in public transportation as part of the measures to reopen our economy, we will make sure that the guidelines issued by the National Task Force on COVID-19 is strictly observed. The operators, drivers and even the passengers have the obligation to ensure that they are protected against those who would defy the rules,” said Eleazar.
“On the part of the JTF COVID Shield, we will make sure that those who do not observe the rules would be accosted and punished to send a strong message that we are serious in our mandate of protecting the Filipinos from the coronavirus infection,” he added.
Eleazar added the strict enforcement of rules on public transportation is in support of the order of PNP Chief, General Camilo Cascolan to strengthen marshalling operations in public utility vehicles.
“Our policemen should be conducting regular patrol to ensure that the wearing of face masks and face shields and the observance of proper physical distancing in public transport like buses, jeepneys and even on tricycles are followed,” said Cascolan.
Eleazar also tasked the PNP Highway Patrol Group led by Police Brigadier General Eliseo Cruz to conduct random checks on public utility vehicles to ensure public compliance with health safety standard protocols.
Eleazar earlier urged transport groups to help the JTF COVID Shield in policing their own pack by making sure the operators and drivers are observing quarantine rules inside public utility vehicles.
“All violators must be accosted and punished accordingly. We have been constantly reminding our kababayan about the quarantine rules for more than five months now, these self-protection measures should already be part of their daily routine and therefore, there should be no more excuses,” said Eleazar.
More than 365,000 quarantine violators have already been accosted for various violations of quarantine protocols across the country since March 17.