JOINT Task Force COVID-19 Shield commander Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday said they will further increase their visibility in all business districts across the country as more shops and stores open today.
In coordination with Philippine National Police chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, General Eleazar said they have instructed all 17 Police Regional Office directors to increase their foot and mobile patrols and take other security measures in business districts in their areas following the National Task Force on COVID-19 decision to allow the operation of more business establishments help boost the economy.
Lt. Gen. Eleazar said that with the decision of the National Task Force chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, all police commanders should anticipate that more people would also go out as several business establishments that were closed for a long time due to the strict implementation of community quarantine are expected to resume operation starting September 1.
Based on the NTF on COVID-19 approval as announced by Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez during the “Laging Handa” briefing, those which will be allowed to operate were testing and tutorial centers, review centers, gyms and fitness centers. Also allowed to operate were personal grooming and pet grooming.
“The easing of restrictions is for the sake of our economy. It does not mean that we should also lower our guard. The threat of coronavirus infection is still there so we should always be alert and continue doing our mandate of protecting the public from virus transmission,” said Eleazar.
The official said local commanders should also closely coordinate with their respective Local Government Units (LGUs) in order to come up with an operational guideline for the enforcement of the quarantine rules based on the existing rules and regulations being implemented by LGUs.
He explained that owners and store managers of the business establishments that were allowed to operate starting on September 1 must also be reminded at all times to observe the minimum health safety standard protocols for their employees and customers.
Eleazar explained that part of the anti-COVID-19 measures that should be implemented is the strengthening of police visibility in business districts, especially during the expected opening days which would draw an influx of people.
“Local commanders can also tap the barangay officials for the deployment of barangay tanods as force multipliers, or the Public Order and Safety Personnel of cities and municipalities to augment the local police,” he said.
“We should anticipate all the eventualities that may occur and these must be included in the planning and implementation in order to ensure that the quarantine rules are observed,” he added.
Eleazar also urged the public not to go to go out of their communities if the goods and services they are looking for are available where they live.