With the economic activities expected to increase during Christmas season, the Joint Task Force Covid Shield has started adjusting security and health safety measures to prevent further coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.
JTF Covid Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said they fully support the effort of our national government on all undertakings that would generate more economic activities.
In an interview with DZBB on Sunday, Eleazar said that aside from random checkpoints, police visibility will be enhanced to prevent criminals from taking advantage of the expected high number of people on the streets.
“We in the JTF Covid Shield have been adjusting our security and health safety measures to strike a balance between the need to revive our economy and in ensuring the protection of our kababayan,” said Eleazar.
He urged malls and other business establishments to coordinate the holding of big sales and other promotional events with the local police for assistance especially in ensuring that the minimum health safety standard protocols are observed.
“Even before the pandemic, the local police were actively involved in security planning for big sales and other events. Amid the threat of the coronavirus, the need for cooperation between the business community and the Philippine National Police is even more important,” he said.
Eleazar said he had already coordinated with PNP chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan, who in turn tasked all local commanders to ensure that they would always be aware of any activity in their respective Areas of Responsibility.
“Security managers of malls and other business establishments have a good history of coordination with the PNP. We have to continue maintaining this harmonious working relationship both for the sake of security and health safety of our kababayan,” Eleazar said.
Last week, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) allowed the holding of mall sales and other promotional events of business establishments to further spur the economy which has been affected by the coronavirus-related lockdowns.
The holding of these activities, according to the IATF-EID, is subject to the rules and regulations of the Department of Trade and Industry.
‘Travel pass-through permit’
In line with ongoing efforts by the government to ease travel restrictions to restart the economy, Eleazar said police will be soon issuing the so-called “travel pass-through permit” (TPP).
Eleazar said the TPP will allow non-APOR (authorized persons outside residence), including locally stranded individuals (LSIs), heading to a local government unit (LGU) with “unrestricted travel policy” to be given access to pass through LGU/s which continue to implement strict travel protocols, or those with “restricted” travel status.
“Unlike travel authority, there is no requirement in getting a TPP. This document will be presented to policemen manning the quarantine control points, or border control checkpoints, to allow them to pass the travel restrictions being implemented in LGUs with Restricted status,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
The IATF-EID earlier lifted travel restrictions for all local travels. As a result, there are LGUs which decided to implement an “unrestricted travel policy” which means that they will no longer require both the APOR and non-APORs, including LSIs, a travel authority for entry into their areas.
“In order to ensure hassle-free travel, non-APORs should secure a TPP before their travel because they might be barred from passing through an LGU or LGUs with Restricted Travel Policy. The TPP will spare them from this kind of scenario,” Eleazar said.
He said Cascolan already instructed police commanders to ensure that TPP would immediately be available upon request, but they should maintain a record for reference. (PNA)