Police told to activate hotlines for quarantine violations

THE Joint Task Force (JTF) Covid Shield has instructed police commanders to make their hotlines accessible to the public, especially for complaints related to quarantine violations in their respective communities.

Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, JTF commander and Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations, said all police commanders were instructed to ensure that all their existing hotline numbers are serviceable, and if not, new hotline numbers should be made available as soon as possible.

He said having a police hotline is important to encourage the public to report health protocol violations by neighbors or even relatives without compromising their identities.

“Alam ng mga tao sa barangay kung sino ang hindi nagsusuot ng face masks at sino-sino ang madalas mag-umpukan para mag-inuman, magsugal at mag-tsismis sa kani-kanilang barangay na violation ng ating quarantine rules. At naniniwala kami na maraming gustong magsumbong dahil alam nila kung gaano kaseryoso ang banta ng COVID-19 pero natatakot o nahihiya silang i-report ito dahil mga kamag-anak at kapitbahay nila ang mga violator,” he said.

“But if we would give them the opportunity to report all the violations in their barangays without compromising their identities, we in the JTF COVID Shield believe that this would further strengthen our efforts to strengthen the enforcement of wearing of face masks and other quarantine rules as ordered by our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he added.

Eleazar also urged the barangay councils to set up their own hotline numbers to give their respective constituents the chance to report quarantine violators for immediate action.

He said strengthening the barangay reporting system of quarantine violations is a good start for a good working relationship and interoperability of the local police and the barangay security officers, also known as barangay tanods.

In the absence of a local police’s hotline, residents may report directly to the JTF COVID Shield hotlines: 0998-849-0013 for Smart users and 0917-538-2495 for Globe users.

The JTF COVID Shield can also be reached through its email address: while the PNP Helpline 16677 can also be contacted.

Eleazar said police stations can also impart through social media any information in their communities.

Earlier, the PNP assigned quarantine rules supervisors (QRS), or PNP Covid focal persons, in the more than 42,000 barangays in the country for the strict enforcement of the minimum health standard protocols at the community level.

The QRS will coordinate with the barangays and they will serve as team leaders of barangay security officers for the enforcement of quarantine rules set by the government to stop the spread of the virus.

Aside from ensuring the observance of physical distancing, and wearing of face masks, they were also task to remind their constituents of the proper personal hygiene etiquette, conduct temperature scanning especially on places of convergence such as markets, to ensure that only the required capacity in the permitted establishments and vehicle passenger loads are being followed, and the prohibition of mass gathering including drinking session and gossiping on the streets and especially in public markets and other places of convergence.

They were also instructed to enforce local ordinances such as curfew and liquor ban, identification and monitoring of barangay residents on home quarantine, monitor and secure health/quarantine facility in the barangay, support contact tracing teams of the barangay, facilitate cascading of the guidelines that will be issued for effective enforcement of quarantine rules at the barangay level and the regular assessment/evaluation of the situation in the barangay, and further come up with ready recommendations relative to quarantine protocols and implementation. (SunStar Philippines)


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