MORE than 35,000 policemen backed up by nearly 100,000 ‘force multipliers’ are now in their respective positions to help ensure peace and order as millions of Filipinos start flocking to cemeteries and memorial parks to visit their departed ones during the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, Philippine National Police spokesman, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac said yesterday.
Banac said that on orders of PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, all security measures under Oplan: Kaluluwa 2019 have been in full effect since last Friday.
Banac said all police units have been ordered to step-up their security in airports, seaports, bus and jeep terminals and the major highways and other thoroughfares leading to cemeteries and private memorial parks as well as beaches and other tourist destinations regularly visited during the All Saints’ Day break.
Banac said that their ‘force multipliers’ will come from different Bantay-Bayan volunteer groups, local government units, medical volunteers and fire and rescue volunteers.
“Agahan po natin ang pagtungo sa mga bus terminals, airports and seaports dahil napakabigat po ng daloy ng trapiko at dagsa po ang pila,” the PNP spokesperson said.
He also appealed to all Filipinos to follow all travel safety tips they have been issuing as well as tips they need to ensure that their homes will be safe while they are on their way to the provinces.
Already on nationwide full alert, the PNP leadership has released the following crime prevention tips as Filipinos prepare to visit public and private cemeteries across the country to pay respects to their dearly departed this week.
• Lock all doors and windows and ensure all possible paths to the house are blocked;
• Install a burglar alarm to alert the neighbors if someone breaks in;
• Do not leave notes outside the house indicating you will be away; keep some appliances like the radio on to give the impression someone is still inside the house;
• Ask a trusted neighbor to keep watch over your house;
• Ensure no candle, gas stove or leaking faucet or plugged appliance is left unattended;
• Secure all items such as clothes being hung out to dry.
While inside the cemeteries, the following tips should be followed:
• Bring sufficient food and water, and keep in mind that liquor and food sold by vendors inside cemeteries are prohibited.
• Bring protection against heat and rain.
• Do not bring deadly or bladed weapons, loud speakers, and gambling paraphernalia.
• Closely watch items brought inside cemeteries and make sure the candles you bring will not cause fires.
• Remind children not to roam around especially in crowded areas. Have them wear or bring a form of identification.
• Keep the surroundings clean and bring your own trash bag to put garbage in.
• Know where the first aid stations and PNP assistance booth are in case of emergency or need for police assistance.
• If attending a wake, make sure the area is crime-free.
When traveling, the PNP chief said the following must be followed:
• Before the trip, make sure the vehicle is roadworthy, and follow the “BLOWBAG” rule which is B for Battery; L for Light; O for Oil; W for Water; B for Brakes; A for Air; and G for Gas.
• Bring all pertinent documents for the vehicle, including the Insurance Certificate.
• Make sure the doors are locked and the windows closed especially if children are joining the trip.
• Ensure control of the vehicle at all times. Avoid one-handed driving or using a mobile phone; avoid driving while drunk or sleepy.
• When driving at night, always use headlights and signal lights. Don’t drive when you have poor eyesight.
• If you do not live too far from a cemetery, don’t bring your car so as not to add to traffic.
And last but not the least, Banac said that the following rules must be kept in mind when taking public transport:
• Don’t wear jewelry or bring large amounts of money. Keep watch over your mobile phone.
• Do not bring too many items.
• Be early at airports and seaports especially in the case of women, children and senior citizens.
• If you see a suspicious package, or someone acting suspiciously, notify authorities.
• Be wary of snatchers and petty thieves, and report incidents to the nearest Police Assistance Post.