COVID-19  Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has now allowed the Philippine National Police to hand out facemasks and face shields to Filipinos – instead of, you know, straight-up arresting civilians.

Per Philstar, the announcement was confirmed by PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, explaining that officials will now bring extra donated protective gear during patrols to give to people caught unprotected outside.

‘What we understand is it is the local government unit that will be issuing appropriate sanctions with regard to the compliance to the guidelines of the IATF,’ Usana furthered, as the protocol comes after IATF’s latest requirement of wearing face shields

Despite being give or take 10 months late, the decision sure beats out the PNP’s former protocol of warranting arrests without notice and actually scouring social media for violators, prompting the countrywide hashtag #SolusyonMedikalHindiMilitar.

As early as the initial months of the pandemic, over 30,000 people were detained by the PNP.

Though it’s no (much-needed vaccine), this new protocol could well prove to be a much better safety precaution against COVID-19 than dumping people in jail.