PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte directed on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to assign policemen in quarantine hotels nationwide.

The directive was given to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año during Duterte’s Talk to the People Address Tuesday night “to prevent those who may attempt to violate the quarantine regulations that have been put in place to protect our population from Covid,” said Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

The order also came amid the controversy involving protocol violators who skipped their mandatory quarantine in hotels.

Nograles said Duterte ordered for the assignment of policemen in at least two shifts per quarantine facility.

“Dalawang pulis in two shifts para diyan lang...So the police must have a complete authority to inquire how many or the health authorities or itong tourism,” Duterte was quoted as saying.

According to the President, cops are needed to ensure that the persons guarding the quarantine facilities have the “complete authority to inquire” to ensure compliance of quarantine rules.

As of January 5, Metro Manila has 297 quarantine facilities, said DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya in a press briefing Wednesday.

“So 297 times 2 equals 594 police officers. Kakayanin naman po natin ito. We have the Mobile Force Battalion whose members were assigned in police districts and stations, and others were assigned in checkpoints. They can be assigned to quarantine facilities,” he said.

He added that the PNP has started doing random inspections since December 1, but with Duterte’s order, they are expected to assign more people starting Wednesday or Thursday, January 6.

Malaya assured that the PNP will also deploy personnel to monitor quarantine facilities in areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR).

PNP Chief General Dionardo Carlos, for his part, said that his personnel will conduct random visits not just in quarantine hotels in areas under Alert Level 3, but also in business establishments.

He said the PNP will make sure that health protocols are strictly implemented in these establishments especially that the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal have been placed under Alert Level 3.

“This will give the PNP the authority to intensify our inspection of these establishments since there is a directive from the DILG. These inspection rounds will be unannounced and shall be conducted randomly to determine which establishments are compliant with public health protocols. Let this be a warning that there is no room for complacency during this health emergency,” he said.

Based on the existing IATF guidelines, businesses in areas under Alert Level 3 can operate if their workers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They are also allowed to cater to fully vaccinated clients or customers, and use only 30 percent capacity for indoor set-up and 50 percent capacity for outdoors.

“We believe that police visibility will serve the purpose to monitor how the quarantine hotels are accommodating their guests who are required to isolate while waiting for the completion of the required number of quarantine days,” Carlos said.

Duterte, meanwhile, ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate cases of possible violations of quarantine protocols from the airport to quarantine facility, hotel or home.

"Maraming report na ksi nandito eh nakakalusot...Hindi mahirap na for a person who has an eye in that kind of situation...Sundin mo lang 'yung camera, makikita mo naman. Then you can understand by, you know, the body language...Ipasa ko na sa iyo yung sa National Bureau of Investigation," he said Tuesday night, January 4, 2022.