Mayor Joy Belmonte seeks AFP’s assistance to enforce lockdown

Photo courtesy of Philstar

The local government of Quezon City has requested for additional manpower from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to tighten the implement the enhanced community quarantine.

The Quezon City government believes, the AFP can assist local authorities in screening  checkpoints, monitoring barangays under extreme enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), and enforcing social distancing measures.

Mayor Joy Belmonte admits they lack manpower and enforcing discipline among residents is quite a struggle, and she believes in the ability of AFP in implementing the ECQ would be a big help. 

“Malaki ang maitutulong ng AFP sa pagpapatupad ng mga patakaran sa ilalim ng enhanced community quarantine,” Mayor Belmonte said in a statement on Tuesday.

“With additional uniformed personnel, the public will be deterred from going out, and the City’s enforcement of home quarantine and social distancing will be greatly strengthened,” Belmonte added.

After a series of meetings with top officials of the AFP’s Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR), Belmonte formally made her request for AFP personnel augmentation.

The Quezon City Mayor announced their plan, days after the local government suspended retail selling at Balintawak market due to concerns over social distancing amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat.

The said incident went viral on social media and aired many concerns from netizens on how local authorities failed to enforce the enhance community quarantine.

Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo admitted the local government needs additional manpower to enforce the extreme ECQ in barangays with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

“Additional manpower assistance is needed to implement and maintain the general rules of quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo said.

The City’s Market Development and Administration Department (MDAD) also requested for additional manpower in keeping an eye certain markets in the City, such as Q-Market, Commonwealth Market, and Muñoz Market.

According to the statement, the JTF-NCR has expressed willingness to help the Quezon City government. Furthermore, the AFP personnel will be placed under the command of Mayor Joy Belmonte.

Meanwhile, the Task Force Traffic and Transport Management are manning Districs 1 and 6, the Task Force Disiplina is handling Districts 2 and 5, and the Department of Public Order and Safety is handling Districts 3 and 4.

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