POLICEMEN guarding Camp Crame yesterday were ordered to further step-up their security measures aimed at preventing the entry of Unauthorized Persons Outside of Residence in the PNP national headquarters who may be COVID-19 carriers.
The order was issued by the PNP higher headquarters amid reports and social media posts regarding the presence of some UPORs who have been ignoring orders for them to stay home and have been entering and leaving Camp Crame despite the COVID-19 lockdown.
Reports said there are some UPORs who have been loitering inside the camp and secretly sneaking in its facilities including the PNP Gymnasium which has been temporarily closed to unauthorized people since last month.
These UPORs are civilians who are not connected in anyway with the PNP and have no business to be inside the camp since most of its regulatory offices serving the public including the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office, the PNP One-Stop Shop, the PNP Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies and the PNP Highway Patrol Group's Motor Vehicle Clearance Office have been temporarily closed to public since a month ago.
The gymnasium’s taekwondo facility will be converted into a temporary quarantine facility as workers continue to build several make-shift quarantine areas at the PNP Grandstand. Work in the quarantine rooms located at the center of the PNP Grandstand has been in great progress since this week.
Security has been tightened at the PNP Gymnasium which now only allows a maximum of 12 players to play in its newly-refurbished badminton courts at one time.
The basketball court, boxing ring and physical fitness area of the PNP gymnasium which is equipped with sauna, body-building and exercise equipment have been temporarily closed as part of the PNP’s social distancing measures since last month.
“We are already checking the identification cards, quarantine passes and other credentials of people entering the gymnasium which has been temporarily closed since last month,” an official told the Journal Group on condition of anonymity.
Armed guards of the PNP Headquarters Support Service under Brigadier Gen. Alexander J. Sampaga are checking the temperature of all people entering Camp Crame whose four gates except for its Gate 2 in Santolan Avenue have been closed to all motorists and pedestrians.
PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa earlier said they are taking more stringent actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among police personnel especially those assigned to frontline duties in quarantine control points.
Upon recommendation of the PNP Health Service headed by Brigadier Gen. Herminio S. Tadeo Jr., a PNP-wide Biosafety Plan is now being observed in Camp Crame and all PNP camps. They previously included the setting-up of decontamination procedure for personnel returning to stations from field duty.
Gen. Gamboa has admitted “there is always a probability that any police officer assigned in Luzon may contract the virus while performing his or her assigned duty.”
The PNP Health Service is keeping tab of PNP personnel considered as Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) and 45 more personnel listed as Persons Under Investigation (PUIs).
“We are instituting strict measures to prevent its spread among our back end and front line personnel, such as provision of minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all frontline personnel; continuous contact tracing and self-quarantine; stringent social distancing including maximum use of teleconferencing of key leaders,” the PNP chief said.