Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos, on Tuesday night directed police units to intensify the deployment of personnel to public places after the country was again classified as “high-risk” for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“DOH (Department of Health) is sending a red flag to law enforcers to recalibrate their strategy. It is laid upon us to manage the movement of people, grounded on the national IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) direction and local Executive Orders,” Carlos said in a statement.
Starting Wednesday, the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal are under the stricter Alert Level 3 until January 15.
“The same template with that of Metro Manila will be implemented in those three areas,” he added.
Border checkpoints will only depend on the orders of the local government units (LGUs), Carlos said.
“As much as possible, we want the inter-LGU travel to be free-flowing to avoid traffic congestions, but if the local chief executives will formalize their mandates, then we have everything set for the checkpoint inspections,” he added.
Carlos also sought the public’s understanding that heightened protocol policies may be inconvenient, but they have to be followed without exceptions and excuses.
“I also ask our police personnel to exercise prudence in dealing with the civilians to avoid altercations and misunderstanding. To better explain to them, empower yourself with the executive orders existing in your areas of jurisdiction,” he said.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said placing Metro Manila and its nearby provinces under a higher alert level due to a surge in infections would be decided and recommended by the IATF.
“Recommending a higher level of Covid alert will (be) made by the IATF,” he said Tuesday night when asked if he is open to recommending a higher alert level for these areas.
On Tuesday, the country reported 5,434 new infections, bringing the total tally of confirmed infections to 2,861,119 since March 2020.
Meanwhile, 611 new recoveries and 18 more deaths were recorded, raising the recovery count and death toll to 2,779,706 and 51,604, respectively. (PNA)