DESPITE the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, hard-headed Filipinos continue to make a mockery of the government’s campaign to stop the spread of the killer virus.
Health, law enforcement and other government authorities are enraged that many people, notably in heavily-populated areas, refuse to wear face masks and observe social distancing.
That’s why the Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered all police field commanders nationwide to work
closely with local and village officials in the fight against the killer disease.
We share the view of PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa that local and barangay authorities play a crucial role in the enforcement of the minimum health safety protocols.
Gamboa had earlier called on local government units (LGUs) to pass their own ordinances which will require quarantine violators to pay fines and render community service.
By just paying fines and rendering several hours of community service, quarantine violators will no longer be hauled by the police to congested PNP jails in many parts of the Philippines.
Likewise, the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield relies on the help of LGU public order and safety personnel and village security officers (tanod) in carrying out the health safety protocols.
The strategy is to tap barangay “tanod” in the conduct of regular patrol in alleys, streets and other public places, according to JTF COVID Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.
Eleazar acknowledged that our policemen are not enough to guard every street, adding village security officers are a great help as force multipliers in the maintenance of peace and order.
There indeed is a need to utilize our local government and barangay officials and employees in the fight against COVID-19.