MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said it will adopt modified work arrangements for its civilian personnel as the country grapples with the rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

"In consultation with our Chief, PNP Gen. Debold Sinas, I have approved the adoption of a modified work arrangement that includes work-from-home, for our non-uniformed personnel assigned at the NHQ (National Headquarters) at Camp Crame as an alternative work arrangement amid the upsurge of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the National Capital Region," PNP officer in charge Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.

He added all offices at the PNP headquarters were already directed to start their assessment on how to implement this modified work arrangement without compromising their respective offices’ administrative works and outputs.

"In as much as we wanted to extend the same work arrangement for our uniformed personnel, the nature of our job makes it difficult to implement the same because aside from our regular law enforcement duties, we are also engaged in other functions that include the enforcement of the quarantine protocols such as the recent implementation of the uniform curfew hours in Metro Manila," Eleazar said.

He, however, said an assessment on alternative work arrangements for uniformed personnel is underway.

In addition, the same assessment is being conducted to come up with recommendations on whether there is a need to continue the existing face-to-face classes or to shift to the conduct of virtual or online classes for the mandatory schooling and training of our personnel.

"But I would like to clarify that these new measures will only be for our personnel assigned to the NHQ. Our regional offices, particularly the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), are given the discretion, through their respective Administrative Support for Covid-19 Task Forces (ASCOTF), to decide on whether or not they would implement the same," he added.

Likewise, Eleazar said they are now also crafting a guideline to modify command activities at NHQ that would introduce a combination of physical and virtual attendance in such activities.

"Since the main intention is to reduce the number of people going inside Camp Crame as a preventive measure against Covid-19 infection, I would like to reiterate the instruction to the units concerned to limit the visits in offices and quartering units at NHQ to those related to the exercise of official functions of the office," he said.

He added that they are awaiting recommendations on whether or not to continue, suspend, modify and/or limit the number of clients availing of frontline services at NHQ such as securing police clearance, renewing permits, and other transactions.

"While we will be conducting livestreaming of activities and press briefings for our friends in the media, we are also giving them the option to cover but subject to the rules and regulations that include strict observation of the minimum health safety protocol," Eleazar added.

Meanwhile, PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said the PNP Press Corps office was indefinitely closed for disinfection on Wednesday after a cameraman of a TV network tested positive for Covid-19.

Usana advised the personnel of the PNP Public Information Office as well as media members who had direct contact with the cameraman to take swab tests and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

“Anyone who came into close contact (high/low risk) with him is advised to take swab tests and do self-isolation until otherwise found negative. PIO personnel are also required to take their swab tests especially those who have direct contact with the PNP Press Corps,” Usana said.

Napolcom main office under 3-day lockdown

The main office of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) in Quezon City was placed on a three-day lockdown from Wednesday to Friday after some of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

"Buong (The whole) building, but only those floors occupied ng Napolcom. DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government)-occupied floors are still in operation," Napolcom vice chairman and executive officer Vitaliano Aguirre said in a message sent to reporters when sought for a comment.

Aguirre said all Napolcom personnel will work from home during the lockdown.

"In order to serve the public and clients whose transactions are to file documents, receiving personnel from the Napolcom Personnel and Administrative Service will be stationed in the ground floor lobby. No other transactions shall be entertained during the said (lockdown) period,” he said.

The Napolcom main office is located along Epifanio de los Santos Ave. corner Quezon Avenue in Barangay West Triangle in Quezon City. (PNA)