PNP reopening of frontline administrative services moved to June 4

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2020   •   244

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday announced that the resumption of its frontline administrative functions and regulatory services has been moved to June 4, Thursday.

PNP’s frontline administrative services include the processing of license to own and possess firearms, and the issuance of permits and police clearances to the public.

In a statement, the PNP said the postponement is in view of the expected public turnout and the stream of police personnel in Camp Crame as the Metro Manila and other parts of the shift to general community quarantine (GCQ).

“We need to control both foot and vehicular traffic in Camp Crame. While we are ready to attend to the needs of the public, we must also consider the safety of our PNP personnel,” PNP chief General Archie Gamboa said in a statement.

Units under the PNP Civil Security Group that will resume operations and transactions on Thursday are Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO), Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA), One-Stop-Shop Office (OSS) and Regional Civil Security Units (RCSU).

The PNP also announced the postponement of its recruitment processing “until further notice” due to the strict implementation of quarantine protocols in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

The recruitment processing was supposed to resume Monday, June 1.

Meanwhile, Gamboa assured that the 205,000-strong police force remains on a high state of readiness as the country transitions to more relaxed form of quarantine measures amid the continuing threat of COVID-19.

“Our police units are under orders to extend maximum assistance to provide safety and security to all workers who will report back to work tomorrow,” he said.

The PNP chief also emphasized that checkpoints, curfew, travel restrictions, strict enforcement of physical distancing, and minimum health standards will still be implemented across the country in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Guidelines on General Community Quarantine.

The PNP likewise reiterated that travelers who will cross other regions or provinces need to secure travel authority from local police stations. They are required to present health certificates from their respective barangays in applying for a travel pass.

Travelers within a province or a region need not secure a travel pass but must ready identification and other necessary documents to be presented when they are flagged down for random checking.

Gamboa also said the PNP will strictly implement the full force of the law against cybercrimes and “any form of abuse on our women and children in this new normal”.

He said the PNP is taking appropriate steps to focus on public safety, law enforcement and internal security functions with greater attention to government flagship campaigns against crime, illegal drugs, and corruption amid the health crisis.

As the country transitions into the ‘new normal’ situation, Gamboa also assured the protection of police front-liners who stay committed to their duties, and punishment for those who abuse their authority. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

DOH warns public on possible airborne transmission of COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public on the possible airborne transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Despite the lack of further studies, the Health Department said they are not dismissing the possibility that COVID-19 might spread in the air. They reminded the public to always adhere to the health and safety protocols.

Patuloy po tayong natututo tungkol sa SARS-CoV-2 at COVID-19. Kabilang na nga po dito ang mode of transmission o paraan ng pagkalat ng COVID-19 (We are continuously learning about SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19. This includes the mode of transmission of COVID-19). It’s an evolving science and new evidence continues to roll out,” according to DOH Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

More than 200 scientists urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to acknowledge the possibility of airborne transmission. According to a study, “viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air.”

The WHO previously dismissed the possibility of airborne transmission but said they will release a scientific brief summary regarding the collected data on the modes of transmission of COVID-19

“This is a respiratory pathogen and so it is important that what we know is it fits into the guidance that we have, which is why a comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission,” according to WHO Technical Lead on COVID-19 Pandemic Maria Van Kerkhove.

Meanwhile, the DOH said they will also review and verify the evidence and studies about COVID-19 in order to provide appropriate information and advisories to the public.AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Quezon City Hall of Justice closed after 4 personnel contract COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Hall of Justice building and its annex will be temporarily shut down after four of its court officers and employees tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the city government announced on Friday.

The city government said Mayor Joy Belmonte ordered the closure of the buildings for seven days of until the city’s Epidemiological and Disease Surveillance Unit (QC-ESU) has completed the appropriate testing and containment measures.

In her letter to Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert and Metropolitan Trial Court Executive Judge Ace Alagar, Belmonte explained that her decision to temporarily shut down the Hall of Justice is to enforce measures during epidemic or outbreak to prevent spread of disease.

QC-ESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz said they will conduct exhaustive contact tracing of all those who were in close contact with the court officers and employees who were found positive and perform follow-up testing as necessary.

Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases shall be placed on home quarantine or isolation in a quarantine facility as feasible under the circumstances, he added.

Meanwhile, the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) started the thorough surface disinfection and misting of the whole City Hall complex.

The agency said the disinfection began on Thursday and will last until Sunday.

Cops infected with COVID-19 now over 1,000 – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The number of police officers who have tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has climbed to 1,006, figures from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed.

The PNP Health Service said 25 additional infections have been reported but there were no new deaths so the total fatalities remains at nine.

A total of 455 cops have recovered from the viral respiratory disease.

The PNP Health Service said it is also monitoring 651 probable cases and 1,252 suspected cases of COVID-19.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 51,745 COVID-19 infections, with 12,813 recovered patients and 1,314 fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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