DILG tells PNP to be on alert as parts of PH shift to GCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2020   •   205

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to remain vigilant and consistent in the enforcement of the law as parts of the country transition to general community quarantine on May 16.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the PNP should continue its strict implementation of quarantine protocols despite the 61% decrease in crime incidence “as people might see the lifting of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in some areas as an opportunity to go back to normal and begin committing crimes.”

“Tiyak na babalik muli ang mga kriminal pag GCQ na dahil magpapanggap sila na papasok kuno sa trabaho kaya paalala ko sa ating kapulisan na maghigpit sa mga checkpoints at dalasan ang pagroronda para masawata ang mga kawatan,” Año said.

He said that the PNP’s implementation of peace and order protocols during the ECQ from March 17 to May 9, 2020 led to only 3,166 crimes committed nationwide.

The DILG chief noted that this figure is a far cry from the 8,135 cases reported within January 23 to March 16, 2020 or the days leading to the implementation of ECQ in Luzon.

“The 61% decrease in crime volume within March 17 – May 9, 2020 with a total of 3,166 must be maintained by the PNP even under GCQ,” he added.

During the ECQ, Año said that theft still has the most cases with 865 incidents but still much lower compared to the data gathered during the earlier months prior to the ECQ which is 2,752. The same pattern applied to other crimes such as murder, homicide, physical injury, and rape, among others.

Meanwhile, a total of 167,278 curfew violators were apprehended from March 17 to May 9, 2020. Majority of these cases are from Luzon with 106,926 followed by Mindanao 30,533 and Visayas with 29,819.

The DILG chief said that 105,445 or 63% of the total number of curfew violators were just warned while 28% or 47,257 were detained but majority were released on bail after being inquested, and 14,576 or 9% were fined.

He also said that the presence of police checkpoints and the issuance of quarantine passes by local government units will continue during the GCQ because movement is still limited and only those allowed to work in permitted industries and accessing essential services are allowed to go out.

Under the GCQ, quarantine measures will still be imposed for persons below 21 years old; persons 60 years old and above; persons who are immunocompromised; pregnant women; and people who reside with the aforementioned individuals. However, seniors who are working or will go out to access essential services will be exempt from the home quarantine.

“Mas matindi ang inaasahang pagpapairal ng batas sa panahon ng GCQ dahil nariyan pa rin ang banta ng coronavirus at samahan pa ng mga masasamang-loob na wala rin namang pinipiling panahon at krisis,” he said. “Use of face masks and social distancing in public must be observed,” he added.

IATF includes Central Visayas, Zambo City in areas under GCQ come June 1

Maris Federez   •   May 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has added several provinces and cities to the list of areas that will be placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to 15.

This, after several local government executives made their appeal to the IATF-MEID to reclassify the community quarantine status of their respective areas.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Region 7 or the Central Visayas, including Cebu City and Mandaue City, and the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao are now among the areas that will be under the GCQ come Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday initially announced that the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions II, III, and IV, the province of Pangasinan and the city of Davao are placed under GCQ.

The rest of the areas that the chief executive did not mention will be placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting next month.

Under the GCQ, more economic sectors will be able to resume operation, while those that will be under the MGCQ will transition to the “new normal” way of living.

Meanwhile, the Malacañang assured that the IATF is now finding ways on how the public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will be able to resume operation while maintaining social distancing and health protocols, as more industries will reopen by Monday.

Roque said that as reported by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the resumption of operations of mass transportation in the NCR will be done in phases.

Pasensya na po sa ating mga kapatid na namamasada ng mga jeepney, pero pinag-aaralan pa po kung papaano magkakaroon ng social distancing sa ating mga jeepney. Bagaman mayroon na po tayong bahagyang pagbukas o pagpayag sa mga pampublikong transportasyon, ang pangunahing guidelines po diyan social distancing,” Roque said.

[I beg the indulgence of our jeepney drivers, but maintaining social distancing inside the jeepneys is still being determined. Although we have already started to open our public transportation, the primary guidelines to be considered in it is social distancing.] —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

TNVS gears up as operations resume on June 1

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 30, 2020

The Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) industry is already preparing for the resumption of operations on June 1 when Metro Manila finally shifts to General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

TNVS driver Noel Guimbaolibot has added plastic covers and disinfectant solutions in his car as part of the minimum health standards for public transportation.

Noel is looking forward to the resumption of operations since he hasn’t been able to earn for over three months because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

He said he has to brave the risk of getting infected in order to earn for his loved ones.

“Sa ngayon, hindi pa naman nawawala iyong COVID-19. Ang pinakamaganda talaga ay lagi lang maging maingat. Magsuot ng face mask every time, mag-spray ng alcohol, (COVID-19 is not going away just yet. It would be best to always be careful. Wear a face mask and spray alcohol),” he said.

Grab PH will be implementing new protocols for their partner-drivers in accordance with the directives of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Before being allowed to operate, Grab PH’s partner-drivers will have to answer a checklist to determine if they are fit enough to operate. They will also undergo training to make sure they are following health protocols.

Cashless system will also be encouraged to avoid direct contact. Drivers will also be allowed to cancel their booking if the passenger is not wearing a face mask. Likewise, passengers may also cancel their booking if the driver is not wearing a face mask.

Grab PH president, Brian Cu assures that they will not implement any fare hike as operations resume. However, they will appeal to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for a five-peso fare increase by next month.

“The disinfection kits and disinfection measures are an added cost for them, to the drivers, so we made a proposal to the LTFRB to raise the per trip cost by a fixed amount to help cover these items,” he said.

Meanwhile, TNVS drivers are not required to undergo COVID-19 testing before resumption of operations unless they are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms. Grab PH has test kits prepared for their partner drivers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

PNP mulls reopening of Custodial Center to visitors amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it will assess whether its Custodial Center can be reopened to visitors amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa said they need to thoroughly study the possibility of reopening the facility because of its proximity to quarantine facilities housing police personnel infected with COVID-19 and the PNP RT-PCR test laboratory.

At present, the visitation of inmates at the PNP Custodial Center is prohibited in compliance with the safety and health protocols set by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gamboa said they are only following the measure implemented by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in the detention facilities in the country.

“Standard naman ‘yung sinusunod natin, together with the BuCor and BJMP. We need to reassess whether to open up sa visitors yung Custodial Center,” he said.

Gamboa’s statement comes after opposition senators questioned the PNP’s move to bar Senator Leila de Lima from accepting visitors and holding physical meetings with anyone.

The PNP chief, however, assured that De Lima is allowed to make phone calls. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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