February 7, 2023

The Department of the Interior and Local Government clarified it will be the local health workers who will lead “Oplan Kalinga” or the transfer of Covid-19 positive patients from their homes to government quarantine facilities and the police will only assist them.
DILG Sec. Eduardo M. Año dismissed claims of militarization since the military will have no role in the effort. “The police will just assist local health authorities.”
“I wish to emphasize that the PNP’s presence in the conduct of the program is purely for assistance to the LGUs who are taking the lead in the defeating Covid-19 in the communities,” Año said.
He said Republic Act 11332 or “An Act Providing Policies and Prescribing Procedures on Surveillance and Response to Notifiable Diseases, Epidemics, and Health Events of Public Health Concern” specifies that collaboration with law enforcement is encouraged “to protect the people from public health threats.”
He said Section 4 of the law states that one of its objectives is expanding collaboration beyond traditional public health partners such as law enforcement entities.
He added police assistance in the transfer of Covid-19 patients from their households is not a unique exercise in the Philippines. Vietnam is also employing the same practice, which helped drastically in minimizing transmission in the country, Año said.
He said LGUs through their respective epidemiological surveillance units will be the one to visit the households with Covid-19 patients.
Año said since households are already identified and local health teams have the list of Covid-19 patients, they will be assessed if they can comply with the minimum requirements to be permitted to practice home quarantine.
He assured that no rights will be violated as the presence of police officers will be limited to assisting in transporting patients and ensuring that lockdowns are imposed. – DILG release