11 drones now in Cebu City to monitor quarantine compliance – Eleazar
MANILA, Philippines — Eleven drones are now in Cebu City to monitor the compliance of residents to quarantine rules following a rise of coronavirus cases in the area, the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield said.
According to Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of JTF COVID Shield, the 11 drones are being piloted by personnel of the Cebu City Police Office to monitor quarantine compliance and to “shoot videos of areas where weak points and potential areas of quarantine violations would occur.”
“The purpose of drone deployment is that if ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) violations are observed in a particular area, troops will be immediately sent there to enforce the quarantine rules,” Eleazar said in a statement.
Eleazar, meanwhile, defended the deployment of Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and soldiers in the city, saying that its purpose is to intensify visibility in a bid to compel residents to stay home and for those who are allowed to go out, to observe the minimum health safety protocols.
“We have no problem with most people of Cebu City who have been doing share in the fight against COVID by staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. What we have [a] problem of are those hardheaded people who disregard these quarantine rules despite knowing the risk of infection to them, their family and their community,” he said.
“This is the reason why the deployment of SAF and soldiers is necessary, for these hardheaded people to be forced to comply with the mere presence of uniformed personnel and their mobility assets,” he stressed.
He further clarified misconceptions and disinformation that the deployment of SAF troopers and soldiers in the city is meant to “bully” its residents.
“Your SAF and soldiers may be the toughest but they are also human beings who have the compassion to those who deserve it,” he said.
“They are known to strictly follow orders and among their orders is to exercise maximum tolerance. In return, we ask the people of Cebu City to reciprocate this good gesture by observing the quarantine rules and respecting the people who enforce these rules,” he added.
He pointed out that authorities have seen “significant improvement” in the compliance of quarantine rules with the deployment of SAF commandos and soldiers in the city, which was placed back under ECQ, the government’s most strict quarantine classification, following the surge in coronavirus infections.
“As we have observed in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon before, the deployment of SAF commandos resulted in the significant reduction of quarantine violators. We want to duplicate this success in Cebu City as part of our mandate to make prevent the spread of COVID-19 by containing the movement of the local residents and disallowing unnecessary travels,” Eleazar said.
“We are confident that the compliance of our kababayan in Cebu City to quarantine rules will be sustained especially now that we have started the deployment of SAF troopers in strategic areas of the City,” he added.
Some 150 police commandos were earlier deployed to the city to augment checkpoint personnel and implement strict home quarantine measures there.
A command and control vehicle has already been deployed in a strategic area in Cebu City where police team supervisors regularly meet for adjustments in security and ECQ implementation, according to Eleazar.
“Our SAF commanders, soldiers, and personnel of the Police Regional Office-7 are now working closely to monitor the compliance of Cebu City residents to the ECQ rules,” he said.
According to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 tracker, Cebu City has reported 4,490 cases as of June 27. Of this number, 510 have recovered while 77 have died from the disease.
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