The city’s executive assistant for security concerns is recommending to Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo the fielding of health protocol enforcers to help curb the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the capital and other parts of Negros Oriental.
Retired P/Brig. Gen. Rey Lyndon Lawas, in an interview, said these health protocol enforcers would ensure that people are strictly adhering to the recommended measures of stemming the spread of Covid-19, such as wearing of face mask, hand sanitizing, and observing physical distancing.
He added that they would ensure that establishments, such as restaurants and cafés, are cooperating with the law enforcement agencies by imposing the minimum health protocols on clients, and that the public is heeding the curfew policy implemented by the city.
His statement came as photos and videos circulated on social media showing some food-and-drinks establishments in the city with large crowds at night, many of them not wearing masks and not observing safe physical distancing.
Lawas clarified that as a consultant, his duties and responsibilities are not limited to peace and order but also covers other areas, such as helping out in the fight against Covid-19, particularly in overseeing the enforcement of laws that would help limit the spread of the contagion.
“In recent weeks, we have observed an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental, since we opened our borders based on the guidance of the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases,” he said in a mix of English and Cebuano dialect.
He clarified that “we are not blaming anybody” but rather making a study on the present situation to avert a scenario where Covid-19 cases may just balloon and “dili na nato makaya (we may no longer be able to address the situation)”.
Frontliners, health workers, government workers, and even law enforcers are already getting exhausted over the past year or so of fighting the pandemic, and even doctors who he spoke to have said they are also growing tired already, Lawas said.
He called on the general public to not let their guard down and cooperate with authorities in fighting the coronavirus, stressing that the people have a larger role to play in ensuring that the community is safe from Covid-19.*PNA