PNP mulls downgrade of full alert status
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is studying whether to downgrade its full alert status with the easing of the quarantine measures in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Hindi pa nada-downgrade (It was not yet downgraded) but we will assess in a few days whether we are going to downgrade it or not,” PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a press briefing Monday.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and Police Regional Offices (PROs) in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Bicol Region were initially placed under since March following the rise of COVID-19 cases in these regions.
Eventually, all PROs went on full alert status, especially with the declaration of the state of public health emergency by the national government in the same month, according to PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
Under a full alert status, all day-offs and leaves are canceled to ensure availability of police officers.
But according to Gamboa, even the deployment of officers in PNP offices may also be reduced to ensure physical distancing among its personnel in PNP facilities.
“Saan mo ‘yan ipapatambay or saan sila (personnel) titigil? So we still have to consider (that) also. Baka nga ang aming full alert ngayon ay hindi na nandito (Where can they stay? We still have to consider that. Maybe our full alert now would not require everyone to be physically present in offices). Probably they will just be ready on call at any time,” he said.
As of Sunday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the has increased to 315, including four deaths and 163 recoveries. A total of 677 are considered COVID-19 suspects while 696 are tagged as probable cases.
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