MANILA

As more people go out, police adjust health safety measures

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THE Joint Task Force Covid Shield (JTF) has ordered all police commanders to recalibrate security and health safety measures as more people are expected to go outside their homes following the easing of age restrictions.

Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, JTF commander, issued the order on Saturday, October 17, 2020, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) adjusted the age restriction, allowing those 15 to 65 years old to step out of their homes.

Only those from 21 to 59 years old were previously allowed to go out.

Eleazar said the easing of the age restriction is a “big challenge” in terms of implementing community quarantine rules.

“That is why it is important that our commanders on the ground must re-strategize in order to continue ensuring the protection of the people. We should make sure that all our kababayan will continue to follow the rules not only for their safety but also the protection of everybody from this virus,” he said.

More industries have also been allowed to resume operations and the rules on crossing borders have been eased.

More people have been included in the list of authorized persons outside residence (Apor) who are also exempted from the curfew.

Beach volleyball competitions, horse racing and cockfighting are now allowed, but subject to the guidelines that the IATF will release soon.

Local government units (LGUs) were given the discretion to implement their own rules depending on the prevailing situation in their respective areas.

“The role of the LGUs is now very essential now that the restrictions were further eased. It is important then for our police commanders to initiate moves to maximize the use of force multipliers such as barangay tanods, security guards and the Public Order and Safety personnel of the LGUs,” said Eleazar.

“They should work closely and constantly under one objective, which is to ensure that the protection of the public against the coronavirus infection will not be sacrificed on our way to the gradual normalization of our economic and daily activities,” he added.

The local police commanders were tasked to strengthen coordination with their respective localities specifically on the curfew implementation and in beefing up police visibility in business districts and in other areas frequented by the people.

Eleazar appealed to the public to exercise precaution in going outside and to always observe the minimum health safety protocols being implemented by the government such as wearing of face masks and face shields, and observing physical distancing.

Case of coronavirus infection in the Philippines have continued to steadily climb, reaching 354,338 as of October 17, 2020. Of this number, 52,423 were active cases while 6,603 had died from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)


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