Implementation of GCQ will be a 'challenge' — Eleazar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 2) — The commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield recognized the difficulties law enforcement officers will face in places where general community quarantine will be enforced.

Speaking at the Laging Handa briefing Saturday, PLGen Guillermo Eleazar said, areas under GCQ will be especially tough for them to monitor because there will be more people on the street.

He said one of the major interventions by the police is the conduct of checkpoints and this would be more difficult to man in areas under GCQ.

"Isang malaking challenge sa atin, itong GCQ, dahil alam naman natin na ECQ compared with GCQ mas marami po ang APOR, or authorized persons outside residence dito sa GCQ... Imagine po natin kung magsasagawa po tayo ng istriktong pagsasagawa ng checkpoint diyan sa GCQ area, then we will defeat the purpose of partially opening our economic activity dahil talagang sobrang traffic niyan," he said.

[Translation: The GCQ is a big challenge for us because there will be more APOR, or authorized persons outside residence, compared to ECQ... Imagine having to strictly enforce checkpoints in areas under GCQ, it would defeat the purpose of partially reopening economic activity because there would be heavy traffic.]

To make sure they would still be able to enforce the law, Eleazar said they would increase police presence and visibility and would patrol places of convergence in establishments allowed to operate to check whether rules are being followed.

However, Eleazar said he was hopeful people would know what to do having come from enhanced community quarantine.

"Nasaksihan naman ng ating mga kababayan for the past 46 days ang ating paghihirap at sakripisyo ng lahat kung kaya't sa tingin ko e mas naisip na nila na dapat talaga mag-cooperate para makuha natin itong objective ng ating quarantine na naextend hanggang May 15," he said.

[Translation: In the past 46 days, they saw how difficult it was and how much we had to sacrifice so I think they understand that they need to cooperate so we can achieve the objectives of the quarantine which was extended until May 15.]

At the same briefing, Eleazar also shared how the crime rate across the country has gone down since the quarantine declaration on March 17.

"For the past 46 days — ito po yung nagsimula ang ating community quarantine nung March 17 — hanggang kahapon, yung ating krimen ay tuloy na bumababa. Sa buong Luzon 67 percent ang binaba, sa Visayas naman ay 58 percent at sa Mindanao 51 percent, for an average of 61 percent sa ating buong bansa," he said.

[Translation: For the past 46 days — this was when the community quarantine started on March 17 — until yesterday, crime continues to go down. It went down 67 percent in Luzon, 58 percent in the Visayas, and 51 percent in Mindanao, for an average of 61 percent nationwide.]