PNP to secure national ID registration in 32 provinces

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2020   •   402

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Camilo Cascolan has directed police commanders to provide security and assistance in the conduct of mass registration for the National Identification System in 32 provinces that will begin Monday, Oct. 12.

Cascolan said police officers should ensure the security of those hired by the government to collect data, as well as make sure that health safety protocols are observed during the process.

“They should always be visible, number 2 they should always assist, number 3 they should always follow anti-COVID protocols and of course, maintain peace and order,” the PNP chief said during a virtual press briefing.

Ground commanders should also coordinate with the PSA and local government units where the registration process will be held.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has hired 5,000 personnel to conduct interviews and gather data from households in 32 provinces that are considered low-risk areas for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a separate statement, Police Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield commander Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar stressed that the participation of the police in the national ID registration process is essential in securing both the enumerators/supervisors who are tasked to conduct house-to-house visit and interview residents.

“This entire process is not an easy task especially that there is still a threat of coronavirus infection. We will extend all possible assistance that we could provide to make it easier and safe both for PSA personnel and the local residents,” he said.

The process will prioritize the registration of five million heads of low-income households based on the list of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The first step of the registration process involves going to the houses of selected pre-registrants to gather their information and schedule a date for their visit to the registration center in their respective areas.

The second step involves pre-registrants going to the registration centers on Nov. 25 to fill out forms and capture their biometrics.

The third step is the issuance of the national ID.

The first wave of registration will be conducted in Ilocos Sur, Cagayan, Isabela, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, Masbate, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Compostela Valley and Tawi-Tawi.

The registration for residents in Metro Manila and other areas will start next year.

The PSA earlier said the registration is voluntary but they would recommend for Filipinos to go through the process as the national ID can help expedite the delivery of government services and assistance to poor families.

The PSA is looking to complete the registration and issue the national ID before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Sinas says PNP won’t interfere with ‘private sector initiatives’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas has assured the public that police will not interfere with any ‘voluntary private sector initiative’ that seek to provide for the basic needs of people severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sinas did not explicitly mention community pantries in various parts of the country but he said the PNP “fully supports such expression of Bayanihan culture and Filipino spirit of compassion.”

“Hindi makikialam ang PNP sa aktibidad ng mga pribadong grupo na mamahagi ng ayuda sa mga tao,” he said in a statement.

“[W]e will continue to extend utmost assistance to ensure smooth and orderly operations of private sector outreach activities with greater emphasis on the health and safety of both benefactors and beneficiaries of these public endeavors,” he added.

The PNP chief, however, slammed “apparent attempts by certain quarters to create mass hysteria by propagating falsehood and fake news over cyberspace.”

“These persons will be unmasked, investigated and their motives probed,” he said.

“Hindi namin palalampasin ang ganitong pagpapalaganap ng kasinungalingan upang magsulong ng kanilang layunin,” he added.

Sinas’ statement comes after an organizer of a community pantry in Quezon City claimed of being “red-tagged” by government authorities.

The PNP chief also promoted their similar efforts in giving to those in need, saying the continuing implementation of the PNP Food Bank Project has benefitted some 35,512 families and 8,511 other individuals.

Vera Cruz named new JTF COVID-19 shield chief

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021

Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz has been designated as the new commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Wednesday.

“Effective on Tuesday, April 20, Vera Cruz was designated as the Deputy Chief for Operations and Task Force Commander of the enforcement arm of the national government in the implementation of quarantine rules and health protocols,” PNP chief General Debold Sinas said in a statement.

Vera Cruz replaced Police Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, who will retire on April 24 and whose designation has been terminated effective April 20, 2021.

“As the new commander of this task force, I expect PLtGen Vera Cruz will continue the plans and programs of the previous commander and enforce strict quarantine rules in the country to mitigate the spread of the virus while waiting for the available vaccines,” Sinas said.

The JTF Covid-19 Shield is composed of members of the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

PSA urged to suspend face-to-face registration for nat’l ID system, other surveys

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A solon has called on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to temporarily halt its door-to-door data collection for the national identification system following reports of 400 persons being placed under quarantine after a data enumerator was found positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a letter addressed to PSA National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa, Albay Representative Joey Salceda said face-to-face data collection and other surveys should be suspended to prevent a super-spreader event.

“I appeal strongly to your office to temporarily suspend door-to-door and face-to-face data collection for the national ID system and other surveys until we could reasonably guarantee that enumerators will not be vectors for infection,” Salceda said.

He said some 400 individuals are currently undergoing home quarantine in Polangui, Albay because of an enumerator who tested positive for COVID-19.

“If infection is confirmed, the enumerator would have been a super-spreader,” Salceda said.

“Even if a super-spreader event does not take place, the protocols have forced contacts of the enumerator to quarantine, interrupting their livelihoods,” he added.

The lawmaker also stressed that data enumerators themselves are also “at risk of being close contacts of the infected.”

“If the PSA will insist on face-to-face registration, enumerators should at least be vaccinated,” he said.

Salceda urged the PSA to look for ways to conduct data gathering acting that do not endanger the public.

“While I support the national ID system and completing it as soon as possible to help distribute necessary social programs, we should conduct data gathering activities in ways that do not endanger the lives of our citizens,” he said.

 

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