PNP medics ready to help bring home Pinoys

February 04, 2020
Archie Francisco F. Gamboa

CAMP Kangleon, Palo, Leyte -- Philippine National Police chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday told newsmen here that police doctors and nurses are being geared up for a mission to help repatriate Filipinos in 2019 N-COV-hit countries as soon as they are ordered by President Duterte.

Speaking after a talk with Police Regional Office 8 officers and men led by Brigadier General Ferdinand O. Divina, the top cop said that President Duterte on Monday night told them that in the event doctors from the Department of Health refuse to volunteer for the risky mission, doctors and nurses from the PNP and Armed Forces should go.

“Pag ayaw ng DOH doctors, nandiyan naman ang PNP and AFP doctor,” he quoted President Duterte as telling a briefing on N-COV attended by top security and health officials including representatives from the World Health Organization.

However,  Gamboa  said  the preparations of all concerned government agencies including the PNP is largely dependent on the DOH.  

“So far, we are fully prepared for any contingency. We already have 105 CBRNE-trained policemen ready to help contain the spread of the daily virus and we are helping the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) go after hoarders of face masks and other basic goods,” he said.

The PNP chief added  that during their meeting in Malacañang on Monday, they got the information that one of the six major manufacturers of face masks in the country has committed to produce 400,000 masks a week for consumption of Filipinos.

He also said that as long as purported “hoarders” of face masks are selling their wares based on its prevailing market price, they won’t be targeted for closure and filing of charges by authorities.

Gamboa made the remark amid reports that some enterprising businessmen in Tacloban City have surfaced to sell face masks they procured from their contacts in Manila to Leyte residents.

The PNP chief said all available police resources and personnel including 105 Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives or CBRNE-trained cops  will be made available to help contain the spread of 2019 N-COV virus in the country.  

“In response to the orders of President Rodrigo R. Duterte mobilizing the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Philippine National Police has made available a team of CBRNE-trained medical personnel from the PNP Health Service who may be deployed to assist concerned agencies in the repatriation of Filipinos based in China and other countries affected by the 2019 N-CoV ARD who will wish to return to the country subject to mandatory quarantine procedure,”  Gamboa  said in a statement.