Nationwide security measures set

PNP asks public to follow travel safety tips.

ALL police preparations are already in place to ensure the safety and security of the general public this week and the rest of summer but still, the Philippine National Police leadership has renewed its call for the citizenry to help them thwart organized crime groups who may likely increase their activities when Filipinos leave their homes to visit their relatives in the provinces or go on a short vacation in the countryside or abroad.

PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has ordered the full implementation of the PNP Enhanced Managing Police Operations during the summer period which will see the police conducting mandatory security checks at airports, seaports, and bus terminals to guard against criminal and terrorist elements.

Police-Community Relations Group director Brigadier General Rhodel O. Sermonia said Road Safety Marshals have been deployed in major thoroughfares to boost security with the help of their different stakeholders, government partners and other stakeholders.

Sermonia said that security is now tight in all tourism zones nationwide with Tourist-Oriented Police teams to be responsible in responding to the emerging demands of the tourism industry. The official called on the public to stay vigilant and report the presence of suspicious-looking persons, movements and unattended bags and packages to I-Report mo ka TSIP at 0917-8475757; or the hotline 911.

For his part, PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard M. Banac said that PNP Oplan Bantay-Lakbay Police Assistance Centers have been put up along the entire stretch of Maharlika Highway and other major thoroughfares with the PNP Highway Patrol Group headed by Brig. Gen. Roberto B. Fajardo spearheading road safety operations in coordination with territorial units.

PNP-HPG agents are also guarding against car thieves, hijackers and highway robbers who may take advantage of the season to attack preys along the road. The PNP-HPG also called on motorists to check their BLOWBAGETS (battery, lights, oil, water, brakes, air, gas and self) before embarking on a long travel.

The security plan took effect last month and will cover the closing of the school year onwards through the fiesta and Flores de Mayo season in May and will extend until the opening of classes in June.

Banac said said that PNP Aviation Security Group and the PNP Maritime Group have fielded more security personnel and established assistance desks in all domestic and international airports and seaports nationwide.

In Metro Manila, the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar is leading the PNP Oplan Bantay-Lakbay in coordination with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and other concerned government agencies.

However, he also urged the public to stay vigilant even as he assured that sufficient units are on standby, ready to respond to any situation and act on contingencies.

Gen. Albayalde reminded the public to immediately report to the patrolling police or to the nearest police station any suspicious person or items. “We need all information from the public so that your police can respond immediately and appropriately,” he said.

The PNP leadership also reiterated the following travel safety tips which include the need for the vacationers to pre-plan their travel route, conduct a route survey; drive the vehicle at a steady speed and keep a distance from the vehicle in front; be observant; be prepared to speed away at the first sign of danger; be constantly alert of the road conditions and surroundings; be suspicious of slow-moving heavily-tinted cars and motorcycle-riding tandems; and most importantly, know the location of police, hospital, military, government and public facilities or other secured areas.