MANILA - The local government of Quezon City, with the help of the city police, will impose a "heightened" implementation of health protocols due to rising COVID-19 infections in the city in the past two weeks, it announced on Saturday.
In a statement, the city government said it would also give "non-cash" incentives to the Quezon City Police District in a bid to recognize their efforts on carrying out the protocols to a total 142 barangays in the city.
"Mayor Joy Belmonte issued a memorandum forming an incentive system that will recognize the policemen's efforts in ensuring the implementation of minimum health standards in the city, specifically in public transportation, commercial establishments, and special concern lockdown areas," the statement read.
The local chief executive said the incentives would make sure that policemen could "thoroughly" implement health protocols to the residents, which would eventually curb the rate of virus transmission.
"To further encourage our 16 police stations in our enforcement, we will be initiating a non-cash, outputs-based incentive system for them," Belmonte was quoted as saying.
"We hope that through these incentives, maaasahan natin yung puspusang pagsisiguro na nasusunod ang health protocols ng lungsod para at least mabawasan ang... hawaan ng COVID sa ating mga komunidad," she explained.
(We expect that our health protocols in the city will be thoroughly implemented, which in turn will curb the rising number of infections.)
The development will also mean intensified "foot patrol" among police station commanders in the city's special lockdown areas, as well as in barangays that supposedly have high COVID-19 cases.
Intensified health measures will also be imposed on public areas such as open "tambayan" spaces, basketball courts, transport terminals, public markets, and footbridges, among other places "where violations of health protocols are regularly observed or reported."
"Each police station should also submit a daily report including the total number of ordinance violation receipt (OVR) issued, and highlight the top three violations and barangays and establishments where most violations occurred," the statement read.
Such reports will be analyzed by the Department of Public Order and Safety and will be sent to the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit for recommendations on enforcement operations the city needs to focus on.
NETIZENS BLAST 'INCENTIVES'
Some netizens, however, were quick to point out that the police did not have to be incentivized for their duty as law enforcement authorities, describing the proposed scheme as "ridiculous."
Another said that it should instead be barangay frontliners who would receive the non-cash incentives, citing their efforts amid the pandemic.
Others, however, lauded Belmonte and said that the police's help is already needed due to the alleged rising number of health protocol violators in the city.
Quezon City on Friday topped the areas in the country in terms of newly-reported infections with 752, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics team.
It also earlier imposed a citywide liquor ban starting on March 15 until the end of the month, likewise suspending the operation of gyms, spas, and internet cafes as well as swimming pools in village clubhouses or private pools used as mini-resorts, according to the memorandum.
The city currently has 4,819 active cases, its latest bulletin showed.
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