PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Thursday assured the public that all their ‘air, water and land’ assets are ready to ensure the speedy transport of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide.
“All mechanisms are already in place. We are ready to provide assistance so that COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered immediately to provinces and municipalities outside Metro Manila,” the PNP chief said amid perceived logistical problems in delivering the vaccines specifically in far-flung areas including islands separated by water.
Gen. Eleazar said that part of the preparation is to place the floating assets of the PNP Maritime Group and the helicopters currently under the PNP Special Action Force on standby for possible use in the transportation of the vaccines.
“Bilang tugon sa direktiba ng ating SILG (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government) Eduardo Año, inatasan ko ngayon ang Maritime Group at ang Special Action Force na ihanda ang mga PNP speedboats at helicopters upang magamit sa pagdadala ng mga bakuna sa mga isla at mga malalayong lugar para sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.
“I also directed all commanders to prepare all the vehicles that could be used and to prepare deployment and security plan for our personnel who would assist in the transportation of vaccines and in securing vaccination sites,” the PNP chief added.
The PNP Maritime Group has almost 200 ‘floating assets’ that could be readily deployed to transport COVID-19 vaccines.
The PNP-SAF headed by Brigadier Gen. Felipe R. Natividad on the other hand said that it is ready to use four of their seven helicopters for the purpose. The three other PNP helicopters are currently under three-week preventive maintenance.
The PNP is among the agencies tasked by Año to ensure the speedy delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines after Duterte directed the DILG to supervise their safe transport and proper handling in view of reports of wastage.
“Ang inyong PNP ay patuloy na nakikipag-ugnayan sa DOH (Department of Health), AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) at lahat ng concerned agencies for a well-coordinated and quick delivery of vaccines across the country. Makakaasa po kayo ng bente-kuwatro oras na serbisyo ng inyong PNP para mapabilis ang minimithing herd immunity,” Eleazar said.
He also assured that the PNP would be up to the task of safely transporting and distributing the COVID-19 jabs. “Sa simula pa lamang po ng rollout ng bakuna sa ating bansa, nagkaroon na po ng mga simulation exercises at workshops ang ating kapulisan sa transportasyon at distribusyon ng COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.