Today, the world was plunged with great destruction. The COVID-19 outbreak that recently struck the people around the globe causes death, distress, hardship and fear. The regular flow of life stopped and nothing was the same again.

        In this pandemic, our pledge of service for the government is being challenged. When the Bureau announced the “No In, No Out” policy as a precautionary measure, I have seen the consternated eyes of our human resource. However, even in the midst of worldwide standstill, chaos, public prejudices, dismay, and uncertainty, our human resource chose to obey and stand true to their pledge.

        I knew that staying inside the four walls with endless duty detail, less to no rest and the heartbreaking thought of not seeing their family adds up to the psychological, physiological and physical challenges we faced during the jail absolute lockdown. But through this pandemic, this challenging time, BJMP-IX human resource have proven what it takes to be a true Jail Officer. As frontliners, you did not abandon your duties. You chose to find a silver lining despite exacerbated health risks within our congested jail facilities. Indeed, a warrior does not necessarily wear swords and shields, some of them are jail officers who wear their masks, boots and PPE’s. And those who are ready to sacrifice their own safety or comfort so that others may safely stay at home.

        We are not done yet. We are still fighting this phenomenal war and I hope that this will end soon. And because we are still trapped in this war, I encourage all the human resource to always go back to the basics; the basics of loyalty to the government and the basics of prayer, hope and finding your reason to be happy every day. Moving forward to this battle, the Jail Bureau pro-actively advocates the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act”, which recognizes every individual’s contribution in the healing process.  As members of the BJMP, we are the frontliners, the first line of defense, our united strength shall determine the ending of this battle.

        As a reminder to all, staying at home, regular disinfection and practicing social distancing are already part of our duty as a jail officer and as a citizen. These are simple healthy practices, yet, by making these a habit, no COVID-19 shall ever enter within our AOR.

        In this crucial time, let us also prepare ourselves for the adherence to the new normal. Just like a tree losses it’s leaves so that new leaves will grow, we must abandon the old ways that does not serve us good and create better and healthier choices.  Normalcy is defined by necessity. Today and beyond, survival is the means to achieve our mandate as public servants. Therefore, let’s embrace the new normal and go forth with clear purpose and determination.