MANILA— The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday ordered increased police visibility in barangays to help local government units implement the ban on daytime videoke machines and loud speakers as millions of students in the country shift to distance learning.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said police commanders should focus enforcement of the ban on the barangay level to prevent online classes from being disturbed.
“Our students are already struggling to adapt to this type of learning and the least that we could do is to make sure that they are not distracted by unnecessary loud noises in their respective communities for them to focus on their school work,” Eleazar said in a statement.
Several cities have already signed ordinances prohibiting the use of videoke, karaoke machines, loud speakers and similar distracting sound-producing devices from being used during the daytime on weekdays. Among these were the City of Manila, Navotas City, Pasay City and Cebu City.
“We leave it to the discretion of the LGUs to find a middle ground between the right of the students for peaceful online classes and the consideration for their constituents to use videoke to unwind,” Eleazar said.
The PNP said it has already coordinated with the Department of the Interior and Local Government to tap barangay tanods and the cities’ public order and safety personnel to help in the implementation of the ban.
The PNP earlier this week also ordered all police commanders to coordinate with their respective localities to regulate drinking and videoke sessions in public places.
Violators may face a fine of up to P2,000 or render community service.
A labor group in September urged local government units to prohibit the use of videoke machines, a favorite in Filipino celebrations, and similar activities to prevent work-from-home setups and online classes from being disturbed.
Some 22.5 million students in public schools in the Philippines resumed their studies at home on Oct. 5 as face-to-face classes are prohibited amid the continuing threat of COVID-19.