Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday tasked police commanders to designate a cop to be the "quarantine rules supervisor" in each barangay following the latest order of President Rodrigo Duterte to arrest those who do not wear face masks in public.
Eleazar said the police supervisor for every barangay will be the team leader of the barangay officials in the enforcement of the minimum health safety protocols at the community level.
"The presence of policemen is not only a proven crime deterrent but also compels civilians to behave. In this time of pandemic when compliance to the minimum health safety protocols is a must to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we need to make the presence of the police in the barangay to ensure that the order of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is enforced properly and strictly,” Eleazar said in a press statement.
According to Eleazar, the task force has received reports that people have supposedly been complacent in observing health standards. Eleazar said some residents are no longer wearing face masks while others are having drinking sessions again.
"Enforcement of minimum health safety protocols at the community level is essential in our fight against the COVID-19. As health experts said, we should always assume that the people we are talking to and cross paths with are virus carriers so wearing of face masks and physical distancing is really an integral part in our goal of defeating the coronavirus,” he said.
“This fight must be brought to the community level and the best way to do it is to make the presence of the police felt in every barangay, especially in areas where coronavirus infection is high,” he added.
Eleazar is now coordinating with Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año for the cooperation of the barangay officials in a more active participation of policemen in their respective areas to enforce the quarantine rules.
Earlier, Año said individuals who would be caught not wearing face masks could be imprisoned for ten to 30 days. Fines, meanwhile, range from P1,000 to P5,000. — BM, GMA News