Distancing violators to get taste of ‘yantok’

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Distancing violators to get taste of âyantokâ
Senior M/Sgt. Gerardo Tubera of the Manila Police District’s Station 2 holds a rattan stick, or yantok, while inspecting the Divisoria market several weeks ago. Police officers acting as social distancing patrollers will use rattan sticks in enforcing health and safety protocols during the holiday season.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Police officers will use rattan sticks, or yantok, to make hardheaded individuals follow physical distancing and other health and safety protocols in public.

Lt. Gen. Cesar Binag, Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations, said yesterday policemen acting as social distancing patrollers will use rattan sticks in enforcing quarantine protocols during the Yuletide season.

“They will have a rattan stick – one meter length. It’s for stopping (violators) and as a measure device, and would be used to hit hardheaded individuals,” he said in Filipino at a Laging Handa press briefing.

The PNP has increased the number of police personnel at public markets, seaports, airports, malls, transportation hubs and other places of convergence.

Officials observed that more people have gone out of their homes since the Christmas season started, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

From approximately 74,000, the number of security forces deployed by the government is now at 96,711.

Binag, who heads Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said more than 700,000 quarantine violators have been either warned, fined or charged since lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 were imposed last March.

Police commanders were also instructed to coordinate with mall managers and church representatives in ensuring the 30 percent capacity limit in their establishments is met.

He appealed to the public to adhere to quarantine guidelines as he noted that everyone should cooperate in keeping COVID-19 from infecting more people.

“If we don’t help each other, it will be harder for us to win in the fight against COVID,” Binag said.

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