NCR police to assist LGUs in pilot implementation of new quarantine alert levels system — Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021   •   96

MANILA, Philippines — Police commanders in the National Capital Region (NCR) will assist in the pilot implementation of the quarantine alert levels system that is set to start on Sept. 16, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said Tuesday.

In a statement, Eleazar said the NCR police will particularly help in the information dissemination on the new guidelines on quarantine alert levels system and in coming up with strategic enforcement and deployment in coordination with the local government units.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Monday night released the guidelines for the system, which aims to prevent the further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the continuous rise in cases.

“Sa paglabas ng mga alituntunin ng quarantine alert level system, inatasan ko na ang ating mga police commanders sa Metro Manila na pag-aralang mabuti at patuloy na makipag-ugnayan sa mga LGUs para sa strategic deployment at enforcement para sa maayos na pagpapatupad ng mga ito,” Eleazar said.

The PNP chief said police commanders should prevent confusion in the implementation of the rules, which sometimes lead to unnecessary arguments and confrontations with the public.

Under the guidelines, the alert levels system will cover cities or municipalities, which will be classified under Alert Level 1 to Level 5. The alert levels per area will be determined by the Department of Health depending on the COVID-19 incidence rate.

The granular lockdowns, on the other hand, are the critical zones that will be declared by the local government unit.

“Aktibong makikibahagi ang inyong PNP sa enforcement at information dissemination sa guidelines na ito, na ang ibig sabihin din ay kailangang sumunod din ang kapulisan sa mga alituntuning ito,” Eleazar said.

He reminded police officers to observe maximum tolerance, impose only what is only stated in the guidelines, and never punish violators.

Eleazar also reiterated his appeal to the public to cooperate with authorities and to follow the guidelines.

“Hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan sa Metro Manila na alamin ang mga patakarang ito dahil ang pagsasa-puso sa pagsunod ng mga alituntuning ito ay isang mabisang sandata hindi lamang para proteksyunan ang inyong sarili kundi pati na rin sa patuloy na pagkalat ng COVID-19,” Eleazar said.

Public urged to cooperate as NCR shifts to quarantine alert levels system

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has called for public cooperation as the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns and quarantine alert levels system in the National Capital Region (NCR) begins Thursday.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the public can help ensure the success of the test by strictly adhering to protocols and being mindful of their own protection from the dreaded COVID-19.

“Sa pag-umpisa ng Alert Level 4 at granular lockdown sa Metro Manila ngayong araw, muling nakikiusap ang inyong PNP sa ating mga kababayan na makiisa at isapuso ang mga alintuntuning ipinapatupad para sa kaligtasan ng lahat,” he said.

Authorities on Thursday began the pilot implementation of the new alert levels system in Metro Manila that seek to curb COVID-19 cases and allow some industries to resume operations.

Metro Manila has been placed under alert level 4 due to high case counts and healthcare utilization rate.

Under the second highest alert level, certain restrictions will be imposed on establishments and activities that are classified as 3 Cs – closed spaces, crowded areas, and activities that promote close contact.

The policy allows certain indoor activities under specific seating capacity for fully vaccinated individuals. Granular lockdowns will also be implemented in particular barangays, buildings and other areas with high infection rate.

In the duration of the said system, curfew hours will be shortened to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Eleazar said police personnel will also continue to implement quarantine and public health protocols.

“Naniniwala ang inyong PNP na ang patuloy na pagsuway ng ilan nating kababayan ay isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng kaso. Kaya hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan na isa-puso ang mga alintuntuning ito kasama ang pagrespeto sa mas maraming bilang ng mga Pilipino na sumusunod sa mga patarakan at ang pagbibigay ng malasakit sa ating mga healthcare workers na bugbog na sa patuloy na pagdami ng mga kaso ng COVID,” he said.

Data from the PNP showed that a total of 224,626 violators were accosted in Metro Manila alone for violation of the minimum public health safety from August 21 to September 15 when the National Capital Region is under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

A total of 87,729 were accosted for curfew violation and another 15,296 for violation of the ban on unnecessary travel for non-Authorized Persons Outside Residence.

In the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, a total of 1,153,833 violators were accosted for violating of public health protocols, curfew and prohibition on unnecessary travels from August 21 to September 15, the PNP said.

Private hospitals’ group doubts NCR alert system will help lower COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   September 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi) on Wednesday expressed doubt that the new quarantine alert level system can help bring down COVID-19 cases in the country.

PHAPi president Dr. Rene de Grano said healthcare workers understand the need to balance the economy and public health in implementing quarantine classifications.

But he questioned the basis of shifting to a policy with different alert levels based on COVID-19 case transmission and healthcare utilization.

De Grano also said that the current efforts on contact tracing and the government’s data on transmission rate still need improvement in order for the system to be effective.

“Ang nakikita kong problem diyan is iyong basis ng levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Ang basis nila, first is the case transmission. It’s okay as long as iyong ating contact tracing is very credible and well done, but presently parang kulang na kulang. So we cannot have siguro a very reliable case transmission rate,” he said.

“Kung reliable iyong ating contact tracing then tama lang na we can rely on that. Nakita natin, let’s say in an area in a barangay, there are, let’s say, more than 20% na infected, then you can do something about it,” he added.

De Grano said hospital occupancy rate should not be used as basis in determining the alert level per area as some hospitals are catering to patients coming from other provinces.

Areas with big hospitals such as the St. Lukes Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, and the Asian Hospital would also be placed often under alert levels 4 and 5 as these facilities serve many COVID-19 patients.

“Hindi nga ano iyon eh mahirap gawing basis iyong kasi patients do not come from the area… Patients come especially from Southern Tagalog Region,” he said.

The PHAPi hopes that the government will be able to craft the most suitable policy to effectively curb the virus transmission.

“This is really a trial experimental thing. So anyway, after the two weeks siguro they’ll think of another way to do it and hopefully they’ll learn something from it. Again, it’s a balancing act hindi natin pwedeng sabihin na ito na lang ang ire-resolve natin. Kailangan pa rin ma-resolve ang economic problem naman ng tao kasi otherwise, kapag gutom na tao wala silang pakialam eh, kapag lalo wala ka nang makain,” he said.

The Department of Health earlier said that the country’s COVID-19 classification remains at high-risk amid high infections rate and healthcare utilization.

Civil registration service outlets in Metro Manila to reopen on Sept. 16 — PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA) on Wednesday announced that all its Civil Registration Service Outlets in Metro Manila will reopen on Sept. 16, Thursday.

The PSA, however, said its service outlets will operate at a reduced capacity.

“Only clients with prior appointments issued through the Civil Registration Service Query Verification Unit email address will be served,” the agency said in its website.

The PSA also said that customers at the service outlet in East Avenue, Quezon City who were issued with a queue ticket number prior to the declaration of enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine will be served according to schedule and color code. The complete schedule can be viewed here.

Those with urgent matters or emergency cases identified by the PSA may be given priority appointments provided valid proof of the emergency is submitted through the agency’s channels.

“Customers will receive a confirmation email and the details of the scheduled appointment,” the PSA said.

“Strictly no walk-in customers are allowed. Your health and wellness is our primary concern,” it added.

Customers must use StaySafe.ph App to enter the PSA premises.

For more information about the PSA Appointment System, clients may contact the following telephone numbers: (02) 8461-0500 loc.702 and 703.

The government earlier announced it will be piloting the quarantine alert levels system in Metro Manila on Sept. 16.

The region will be placed under alert level 4, which prohibits the following from going outside their residence:

  • Persons below 18 years old
  • Persons over 65 years old
  • Those with immunodeficiencies, co-morbidities, or other health risks
  • Pregnant women

Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes when accessing essential goods and services or going to work in permitted industries and offices.

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