Some 700 police and military personnel prepare for their deployment in Cebu City to strictly enforce health protocols amidst rising cases of Covid-19 attributed to the Delta variant. (RPSB-7)

To address its rising Covid-19 cases, the Cebu City government has stepped up its strict implementation of minimum health protocols with the deployment of some 700 police and military personnel starting Monday, Aug. 16.

Police Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo, director of the Central Visayas Police Office, said the additional 370 police officers coming from the Regional Public Safety Battalion, was in response to the city government’s appeal to help enforce Covid health protocols.

The deployed police officers will lead in enforcing the wearing of face masks, even inside public utility vehicles, and adhering to the curfew hours from 10 pm to 4 am.

Security forces will also be assigned even up in mountainous areas. They will work with local village leaders to ensure residents adhere to health protocols. The city recently reimposed a P1,000 penalty for quarantine protocol violators.

Montejo led Sunday’s deployment of additional security forces at the city’s sports complex, to form part of the “81531 task force” formed by Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

On Sunday, Rama signed Executive Order 137 dubbed “Oplan PUYO 8/15-31” which aims to “ensure” the survival of its citizens “against an invisible enemy.”

Under the EO, the city and the entire police force execute “hybrid” modified enhanced community quarantine protocols until the end of August.

The city government has also come up with a “barangay territorial and border management system” for villages to stem the spread of the virus at the grassroots level.

“The rules we have put in place, that the Police and force multipliers have been briefed and instructed, will be enforced to the teeth. Violations will carry you under the pain of penalty,” Rama warns.

“Simply, Stay at home!” he reiterates. “I repeat, ” Stay at home! And once again, Stay at home! Go out if you must!” – Ryan Sorote