MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday said he has ordered all unit commanders in the National Capital Region (NCR) to increase police visibility in public areas following the downgrading of the COVID-19 Alert Level in the region.
In a statement, Eleazar said the directive was in response to the Department of Health’s (DOH) appeal for the continued implementation of the public health protocols after a number of people flocked to malls, churches, and other areas during the first weekend of placing NCR under Alert Level 3.
It was also in compliance with the order of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on the matter, he added.
“Nauunawaan namin ang pagkabahala ng ating mga kasamahan sa Department of Health at sa medical community patungkol sa mga report na ipinakita kung saan nagdagsaan ang mga tao sa mga pasyalan, malls at iba pang mga lugar noong nakaraang weekend,” Eleazar said.
DOH officials and some health experts earlier expressed concerns over what they describe was an apparent complacency on the part of the public when they go out of their homes to take advantage of the easing of restrictions in the metropolis.
In some parks and churches, it was apparent that some people failed to observe the protocols for their safety despite repeated appeals from the marshals.
“Kasama sa aking kautusan ang coordination sa ating mga LGUs sa Metro Manila upang maayos na maipatupad ang minimum public health safety protocols at ibang pang mga restriction na ipapatupad sa NCR,” Eleazar said.
While he welcomed the easing of restrictions in the capital region, the PNP chief said the public should remain vigilant and compliant to the health and safety protocols set by the government against COVID-19.
“Natutuwa kami sa PNP na kahit paano ay bumabalik na sa normal ang sitwasyon sa ating bansa subalit hindi dapat maging dahilan ito para tayo ay maging kampante at balewalain ang health safety protocols dahil kung hindi, ang panandaliang kaligayahan na ating nararamdaman ngayon ay mauuwi na naman sa matagal na lockdown,” he added.
The NCR will be under Alert Level 3 until October 31.
The national government has also expanded the implementation of the COVID-19 Alert Level System to some areas in the country beginning Oct. 20.