MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is prepared to provide security for the possible implementation of "selective quarantine" past April 30, its head said Tuesday.
"From here, the way forward in my analysis is for us to expect a longer operation period in our law enforcement and public safety functions beyond April 30 for a possible selective quarantine in some areas," PNP chief Archie Gamboa said in a video message.
Since the enhanced community quarantine was imposed in Luzon and elsewhere in the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the 205,000-strong police force has apprehended more than 100,000 lockdown violators, mostly in Luzon.
The police also nabbed 680 unscrupulous traders for price control and fair trade violations, and caught some 8,000 public utility vehicles (PUVs) for violating mass transit ban.
"What was initially proposed as a community quarantine covering Metro Manila was supposed to end today, had it not been overtaken by the turn of events that made it urgently necessary to expand the duration and scope of the community quarantine and enhance its implementation across Luzon until April 30," Gamboa said.
To help the government respond to the impacts of the crisis, especially for those in the marginalized sector who are badly affected, the PNP created a "Bayanihan Fund Challenge" to raise over P200 million from its personnel.
"Men and women of the PNP, I know that individually, we have more than enough to spare for our government and our people in their direst need. I believe this is not too much our country can ask from us and to which we are willing to give," the PNP chief said.
To date, the police have raised P34 million from star-rank police officers and their staff, who account for 20 percent of the PNP strength.
He said leaders in the command group and directorial staff, police regional offices, national support units, and all star-rank officers have committed 50 percent of their basic pay for the month of May.
"I must emphasize that the Bayanihan Fund Challenge is strictly voluntary with no standard amount of contribution specified. The project does not authorize automatic salary deduction, or the use of funds sourced from PNP appropriations," Gamboa said.
In his message, he also revealed that qualified police personnel will receive on April 16 a hazard pay of P500 per day for their service during the health crisis.
Members of Public Safety Mutual Benefit Fund, Inc. (PSMBFI) will also receive P5,000 cash aid to tide them over the crisis, Gamboa said.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines has recorded 5,453 coronavirus infections, with 349 deaths and 353 recoveries.