MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) would not be holding Christmas parties this year as funds for the celebration would be given out to help coronavirus patients, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan said on Wednesday.
Police offices and units are also not allowed to hold Christmas parties.
“I am actually contemplating for no Christmas party in the Philippine National Police. They will understand that, instead of using the funds for our Christmas party, we will be giving it out for Covid patients or the Covid fund,” Cascolan told reporters at the sidelines of the opening of Civil Security Group’s satellite office in Manila Police District.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said holding of Christmas parties in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), like Metro Manila, will not be allowed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Under GCQ, bawal pa ang mga parties so ang ating NCR nagkasundo ‘yung ating mga mayors na hanggang GCQ muna tayo at magluluwag lang para makatulong sa ekonomiya pero hindi muna mag-modified GCQ kasi ang MGCQ kasi complete package ‘yan. Kapag bigla ka nag shift diyan automatic lahat ng activities 50 percent capacity pati ‘yung mga get together diyan sigurado gagawin nila diyan (Under GCQ, parties are not allowed. NCR mayors have agreed that the region would remain under GCQ. If we shift to MGCQ, all activities would be at 50-percent capacity, even get-togethers would surely be done under that status),” he said in a radio interview.
“Sayang ‘yung gains natin for the past 7 months kung magkaroon tayo ng surge ulit (Our gains for the past 7 months would be put to waste if [the number of cases] would surge again,” he added.
Año also clarified that individuals aged 15 to 65 years old will be allowed outside their residence in areas under the MGCQ.
He pointed this out to avoid confusion as the Metro Manila mayors decided to impose the restrictions outside their homes for those within the 18 to 65 years old range.
He added that what was approved by the President is the “gradual expansion from 15 to 65 years old to be allowed to go out.’’
“So meaning to say gradual siya. Sa mga lugar ng MGCQ sa malalayong lugar na wala na masyado Covid cases puwede na ipatupad ‘yung 15 to 65 (It means that it is gradual. In places under MGCQ, in areas with less Covid-19 cases, persons 15 to 65 years old will be allowed [to go out]),’’ Año said.
If the situation improves, Año said it is up to the local government units to decide whether to allow individuals in that age range to go out.
During the holiday season, Cascolan said the deployment of police personnel on the ground would be augmented, especially on places of convergence for the strict implementation of quarantine guidelines, particularly the ban on Christmas parties.
He said this is to prevent any kind of mass gatherings, especially in areas under GCQ, as well as crime incidents and terrorism.
“We have to rationalize the deployment of our forces. When we say proper deployment of our forces and resources, kailangan natin ‘yung mga lugar talaga na kailangan ang pulis hindi lang ‘yung basta basta mo nilagay ang pulis diyan (those in places that police are needed, and not just deploying them haphazardly),” Cascolan said. (PNA)