By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — As the health authorities noted an uptick in daily COVID-19 cases, Metro Manila will have to brace for a stricter health protocol starting January 3 to 15.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will welcome the year with a recalibrated deployment strategy as more outdoor activities will be prohibited under Alert Level 3.
Those that won’t be allowed with physical interaction, at least for the next two weeks, are face-to-face classes in basic education, Karaoke bar and Indoor Entertainment, Kid amusement places, Casinos, Horse Racing, Cockfighting, contact sports except for bubble-type setup, and gathering not from the same household.
Other establishments are given the green light to accept customers but with 30% capacity for closed-door venues and only for fully-vaccinated individuals, and 50% for outdoor capacity.
“Our mandate is to make sure that the restrictions are properly implemented. We will closely coordinate with the IATF and the LGUs as well,” PNP Chief General Dionardo Carlos said.
The PNP expects that each local government unit in NCR will release an Executive Order laying down the protocol based on the national direction set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“The penalties will depend on the provisions of the EOs. Definitely, violators will face the consequence,” Carlos said.
The PNP understands that this upgraded alert level status may receive some backlash from those who find the rules inconvenient, but the police force has the duty to enforce the restrictions and to reiterate the value of following the minimum public health standard. (ai/mtvn)