THE JOINT Task Force Covid Shield has started drafting guidelines on the barangay-level implementation of mandatory wearing of face masks and other quarantine rules aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the JTF Covid Shield, said the guidelines would be cascaded to the more than 42,000 barangays through quarantine rules supervisors (QRS) or the Philippine National Police Covid focal persons, who would be designated by the city and municipal police chiefs.
“As what Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año said, there should be a uniform guideline that would be implemented in all the barangays in order to synchronize the efforts of the national government and the local government units in our fight against Covid-19,” Eleazar said in a statement on Thursday.
Among the initial proposals being considered include the prohibition of large gatherings for birthday and other celebrations, ban of drinking sessions especially along the streets, holding of fiesta and sports competitions, and other activities that would violate the rules on mass gathering and physical distancing.
Eleazar stressed the need for stricter enforcement of quarantine rules at the barangay level amid reports of frequent violations that include drinking sessions among the neighbors that use a single "shot glass", card games and other forms of gambling, birthday celebrations and even gossiping.
The QRS or the PNP Covid focal persons will supervise the barangay tanods in the implementation of the guidelines.
A QRS could supervise a barangay cluster in cases wherein police personnel of a city or municipality are not enough to cover all the barangays in a city or town.
“But we will also be giving police commanders the authority to adjust the implementation of the guidelines depending on the prevailing situation on the ground,” Eleazar said.
In order to ensure compliance, all QRS would be tasked to submit regular reports of their implementation of the quarantine rules in their respective barangay assignments. (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)