PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan has ordered all necessary security assistance for teachers and students as well as the rest of the general public amid the formal opening of the school year.
Cascolan said he wants stepped-up police visibility to enforce local government ordinances aimed at protecting schoolchildren and the rest of the public. They include the strict enforcement of ordinances banning the presence of young students inside computer shops, the curfew hours and the ban on videoke machines, mostly starting from 9-10 p.m. up to 5 in the morning.
During a press conference at Camp Crame, the PNP chief first extended the warmest greetings of the police force to all our beloved 1.1-million Filipino teachers in both public and private educational systems, on the occasion of the international observance of World Teachers’ Day, more significantly as it coincided with the opening of schoolyear 2020-2021 in the entire country.
“Although not all of the over 30 million learners in different levels will go back to school this year due to health safety issues, still, the PNP remains supportive to DepEd in providing manpower support in public schools during the distribution phase of learning materials and modules as part of the education department’s Basic Learning Continuity Plan for this year amid the prevailing national health emergency,” he said.
Cascolan said that in some schools that will open for blended learning methods, the PNP will be on hand to provide police security and reassuring presence to address perennial law enforcement and public safety concerns in campuses and school zones, particularly in university belt areas of urban centers.
He added that the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group is also doing its job to look for online predators and cyber-bullieswho may prey on young schoolchildren this time as well as those involved in online scams that victimizes both students and teachers.
The PNP chief said that he has ordered all police regional directors to ensure that their men will be fully coordinating with barangay authorities in providing assistance to teachers and students and see to it that minimum health protocols specifically social distancing and wearing of face masks and face shields will be fully enforced.
POLICE VISIBILITY TO MAKE HOMES CONDUCIVE FOR ONLINE CLASSES
Buoyed by viral videos about how hard-headed quarantine violators would scamper away once a police patrol vehicle passes by Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, in coordination with Gen. Cascolan ordered all police commanders to intensify police visibility especially in public areas which are known to be hangout places in the community.
Eleazar said videos showing how quarantine violators would run away and immediately return to their homes as police cars approach their area is proof that they were aware that they were violating the quarantine rules. In some of the viral videos, most of those who would scamper away are not wearing face masks and are violating the rules on mass gathering.
“The police presence on the streets and in the community is also in time for the start of the classes for public schools nationwide. Through the police presence in the community, our online learners would not be disturbed and distracted by the noises coming from the people who hang out on the streets,” the official said.
Eleazar tasked police commanders to coordinate with the Local Government Units (LGUs) particularly at the barangay level, to strictly implement local ordinances that would support the online classes.
Among them, he said, are ordinances against drinking in public and ordinances regulating the use of videoke specially during online classes.
“Our local police personnel and barangay officials should work together to extend all the necessary assistance to make sure that our online learners would be able to concentrate on their study,” he explained.
Eleazar said every home should be conducive for learning and the least that the police, in partnership with the barangay officials, could do is to minimize the unnecessary noise especially coming from quarantine violators.
“Your JTF COVID Shield understands the difficulties in online classes especially for the students because almost all of them are new on this. That is why we are finding ways to help them at least in making their homes and their community conducive for learning,” he said.
Eleazar also ordered police commanders to ensure that minors would not be allowed in internet shops as part of the quarantine rules and also for their protection from COVID-19.