BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Army in Negros Occidental will tap reservists to assist government troops in guarding the boundaries of the province and its capital city here as a part of the measures to protect the Negrenses against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade based in Murcia town, said on Wednesday they will render support for the directive of Governor Eugenio Lacson to seal the borders, and when the troops need augmentation, the reservists will provide assistance.
“The border control between the two provinces is our primary task. We have tasked our battalions to man the different entry and exit points between Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental,” he added.
Pasaporte, however, said since the sealing of borders is expected to last for 30 days, the operation could also take its toll on government troops thus they will engage the services of army reservists. “We will tap our reservists to augment the troops in Bacolod City,” he said.
The army official said the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) headed by Col. Henry Biñas has asked for augmentation personnel for border patrol in two entry points of the city, which has been placed under general community quarantine.
The 605th Community Defense Unit will initially provide some 100 reservists, Pasaporte said.
“Although they will not be deployed in full force, we will adjust their deployment based on the need,” he added.
Pasaporte said the Army appreciates the support and service of reservists during military operations. “That’s why we are strengthening the reserve forces,” he said.
Moreover, Pasaporte underscored the safety of military personnel deployed in border control points.
“It will be given priority by the brigade to further its service to help contain the spread of Covid-19. Residents of Negros Occidental are encouraged to adhere to stringent social distancing measures,” he added.
As the Army remains committed to support the local government’s efforts to contain the virus and while leaders and healthcare professionals work towards a solution, Pasaporte encouraged Negrenses to also do their share.
“(This) is by obeying the guidelines and safety tips set by our government and health authorities for the good of everyone,” he said. (PNA)