Senator Risa Hontiveros questioned the decision of the government to send police officers and local government employees to households to look for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.
Hontiveros compared this initiative to “Oplan Tokhang,” a controversial campaign by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against illegal drugs, in which policemen would visit the homes of suspected drug users and dealers and ask them to surrender.
“Parang tokhang pero pang-COVID… This may actually discourage more people from reporting their status,” Hontiveros posted on Twitter.
“We need to improve home- and community-based healthcare. Imbes na pulis, mas kinakailangan ang mga doktor at health workers sa barangay at mga kabahayan. We need more, better barangay-based healthcare, not this,” she added.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said those police officers would visit households to search for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms to be transported to monitoring and isolation facilities to prevent the spread of the viral disease.