PNP in 5 regions placed on full alert

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday, March 13, placed five police regional offices under full alert amid the rise in Covid-19 cases.

On full alert are the police in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) and Bicol.

A full alert status means all PNP personnel should be on duty and leave applications are canceled.

Brigadier General Emmanuel Licup, PNP Directorate for Operations director, said they will also activate the Police Reactionary Stand-by Support Force (RSSF) which will be headed by Brigadier General Alex Sintin to respond to any situation that may arise in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Transactions at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame such as the processing of firearms licenses, permits for security guards and permits issued by the Highway Patrol Group have been suspended until Monday, March 16.

The PNP was tapped to enforce President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to place Metro Manila under community quarantine and restrict travel to and from the region in a bid to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus, the pathogen that cause Covid-19.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will serve support the PNP while ensuring that its peace and security operations will not be compromised.

"The AFP is ready to assist the Philippine National Police in implementing the community quarantine in certain areas in line with the government's efforts to contain and prevent the further spread of (coronavirus disease) Covid-19," AFP Chief-of-Staff Felimon Santos Jr., said in a statement.

"This includes the availability of units and personnel, emergency medical teams, availability of critical logistics and supplies, and preparation of personal protective equipment for soldiers and other personnel who will be tapped to assist the PNP," General Santos said.

The death toll from Covid-19 in the Philippines has increased to five. Globally, the virus has infected more than 100,000 and killed more than 4,000. (SunStar Philippines)