MORE policemen and force multipliers will be deployed in public markets, money changers, pharmacies and supermarkets to prevent mass gatherings.
This was announced by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano citing numerous violations of the existing community quarantine procedures in Metro Manila and other urban centers across the country.
“These physical distancing teams will be crucial in ensuring the people are apart from each other as they do their shopping,” Ano said.
He said it is unfortunate that many Filipinos still violate COVID-19 measures “as if they do not know the gravity of the situation” pushing the national government to impose stricter policies for the protection of the general population.
This time, members of the PNP and the AFP will work closely with the LGUs in supervising the entry and exit of people inside the public markets.
“Kaya po pakiusap din po sa ating mga kababayan, konting disiplina muna, makiisa po tayo,” he said adding that joint PNP-AFP teams will patrol the public markets to ensure that those inside maintain physical distancing.
Based on the latest data of PNP, 108,088 individuals were apprehended nationwide for violating ECQ protocols.
Of this number, 76,989 were warned and 4,969 were fined while 5,539 were subject to inquest before a Prosecutor while 20,591 were released pending the filing of cases with the DOJ.
The DILG chief said that, in coordination with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, security forces are now implementing a limited number of entrance and exits in public markets in order “to limit the people within the tight spaces of the markets and maintain the required physical distancing measures.”
Meanwhile, Ano characterized alleged government plans to close all public markets as fake news.
"Linggo-linggo na lang ganyan ang pinapakalat nila. Wala po ‘yang katotohanan. Wag nyo na pong ikalat yan dahil fake news yan," he said.