Cops told: Be ready for Covid-19 deployment

Police and health officials in the towns of Calinog and Janiuay, Iloilo check the temperatures of jeepney passengers at their respective checkpoints. (PRO-6 photos)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Bracing for a worst-case scenario, the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) told its personnel to be ready for deployment as they protect the citizenry against the threat of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police chief, made the pronouncement following the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) meeting on March 16.

Pamuspusan said that as police officers, they would stay true to their mandate of serving and protecting the people.

“Let us be ready to serve and protect the people in this difficult time as we implement the RDRRMC resolution on COVID-19 here in Western Visayas,” he said.

However, “they should also be mindful of their health by following the basic safety guidelines provided by our health experts,” Pamuspusan said.

While the risks are high, the region’s top cop said that as police officers and peacemakers, “God is with us.”

Meanwhile, Police Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson, said they have underscored the importance of keeping a good physical and mental well-being among their troops, especially those who would be deployed to conduct border checkpoints.

Currently, there are around a thousand policemen deployed to man scores of checkpoints all over the region.

“We want to maintain a strong immunity of our troops. Therefore, while we conduct 24/7 checkpoint operations, policemen will be deployed on three shifts with each cop rendering an 8-hour duty,” she said.

Malong said on Tuesday that there are 680 personnel deployed on 118 quarantine control points.

Malong said adjustments would be made based on the prevailing situations.

“That number is on top of our personnel who are mobile patrols to check on compliance work community quarantine and border restrictions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Pamuspusan has already instructed provincial and city police directors to implement the guideline on shifting of personnel.

Other guidelines for field units include:

* Restriction to travel of people from province to city, except the transport of goods and gov’t and private employees residing outside the workplace area.

* Identify areas where to put border control, Airport, Seaport & boundaries.

* Agreement between two provinces that share borders on who should man the checkpoint going in and out of their respective provinces.

* Report to unit and conduct briefing before deployment.

* Full Alert starting on Monday.

* Provincial/City directors to coordinate with their respective Provincial/City DRRMO.

* Monitor coastal municipalities/cities for possible entry of people from Manila and other areas.

* Impose curfew strictly.

* Be wary of communist-terrorist atrocities.

* The Regional Maritime Unit-6 to coordinate with Philippine Coast Guard and discuss which port the PNP will cover and their seaport to be deployed.