Some 105 personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are ready to assist other government agencies in the repatriation of Filipinos from China and other countries due to the 2019 novel coronavirus virus spread.
PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa on Monday said their personnel are ready for deployment once called upon by the Department of Health to help in controlling the spread of the deadly virus.
"The deployment of PNP personnel is primarily bent on DOH kasi sila 'yung overall in-charge nito (because they are overall in-charge). We do not move on our own because they are the authority," Gamboa said.
The chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE)-trained personnel belong to the SAF (Special Action Force), Health Service, Crime Lab and EOD-K9 units.
The doctors from the PNP Health Service would help in the mandatory quarantine procedures of returning Filipinos from countries affected by nCoV, Gamboa said.
"The PNP will help but we're just presenting na meron kaming ganitong pwersa (this kind of force or unit) whom they can use," Gamboa said.
Gamboa also directed regional police units to make available individual face masks for all police personnel and assure the availability of hand sanitizers in offices and facilities.
Gamboa said the PNP is also studying the possibility of implementing a temporary lockdown on all its training facilities including the Philippine National Police Academy and the National Training Police Institute to ensure the safety and protection of cadets and trainees.
"As I have said, we are considering kasi nga kailangan talagang ng assessment ng experts (we need the assessment from the experts). You just do not execute something kasi (because) we also have to balance. It might create panic or we might be overreacting so dapat evidence-based kumbaga," Gamboa said.
Source: Philippines News Agency