Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has commended the Philippine National Police (PNP) for helping save millions of Filipino lives from the highly infectious and lethal coronavirus with its orderly enforcement of mobility restrictions and minimum health standards in this season of the pandemic.
Amid the global health emergency spawned by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Dominguez said the men and women of the PNP have responded swiftly and heroically to their mission of keeping people safe from the contagion, and rose above the call of duty by working to “the limits of endurance” and volunteering to donate a portion of their salaries to the government’s COVID-19 response.
“Because of the highly infectious nature of the virus we are fighting, we all had to swing into action at a moment’s notice. We called on you urgently, and you responded bravely,” Dominguez told members of the national police organization led by PNP chief General Archie Gamboa.
Dominguez delivered his videotaped message to the PNP as guest of honor during the closing ceremony for the 25th Police Community Relations Month held this morning (July 30) at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The Finance Chief said that when the pandemic broke out, the country’s police forces were tasked to man checkpoints, enforce curfews, and restrict movements of people that posed hazards to public health.
On top of these duties, he said the PNP also “carried out community relations of the highest order” as the government had to reassure people, prevent panic and chaos from breaking out, and ensure that emergency assistance was being delivered promptly to those who needed them.
“Our police officers responded heroically to this important mission, rising above the call of duty to meet a most formidable challenge,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez commended, in particular, Gamboa and the members of the PNP Command Group, which include Police Lieutenant Generals Camilo Cascolan, Guillermo Eleazar, and Cesar Binag; Police Colonels Harold Tuzon and Benjamin Silo; and Police Brigadier General Felipe Natividad.
“Under your able leadership, the PNP was able to efficiently execute all the additional roles it had to perform to keep our people safe, and was able to effectively rise above the challenges spawned by this national emergency,” Dominguez said.
In carrying out their duties, Dominguez noted that over a thousand police officers were themselves infected with COVID-19 and several lost their lives to the deadly contagion.
Even while working round the clock and for long periods, the entire rank-and-file of the PNP demonstrated the meaning of “malasakit” or compassion by volunteering to donate a portion of their salaries, which collectively amounted to P228.45 million, to help fund the government’s COVID-19 response, Dominguez said.
“This was a most gallant gesture,” Dominguez said.
Aside from this donation, Dominguez also lauded the PNP for organizing its “Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko” program, in which police units took it upon themselves to provide food packs and other necessities to indigent families.
Moreover, the PNP also organized free transport for medical frontline workers and manned several quarantine facilities hurriedly set up to contain the spread of infections, Dominguez said.
“There are thousands of individual acts of heroism and patriotism by the men and women of the PNP. When all this is over, we will find the time to retell all these stories. They attest to the profound commitment of the police force to serve and protect our people,” he added.