POLICE are 100 percent ready to secure the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which will start tomorrow up to December 11 and have not monitored any imminent threat to the major sporting event, Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said yesterday.
However, Gen. Gamboa said that security forces are not taking any chances and are beefing-up all counter-terror measures. “Imminent? None. But the evaluation continues. We do not stop evaluating,” the top official said.
National Capital Region Police Office director, Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas said that they have gone on full alert since last Sunday as part of their security measures for the Games. The high alert status will be up until December 14.
Sinas also officially activated a 24-hour SEA Games 2019 hotline where all information regarding peace and order condition and other concerns may be relayed as part of their major effort to ensure a ‘trouble-free SEA Games.’
The NCRPO SEA Games SMS and Viber hotline numbers are: 0915-983-4636 for Globe subscribers and 0998-325-5626 for Smart subscribers, the official said. According to Sinas, only SMS and viber messages can be sent to the hotlines and strictly no calls at all.
The NCRPO official assured the public of prompt response to all queries, reports and complaints that will be sent to the 30th SEA Games hotlines. He explained that the hotlines will be monitored 24/7 by trained and competent policemen assigned with the NCRPO Operations Division at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
According to Sinas, all information relayed to the hotlines will be referred to the concerned Task Group Commanders or units for immediate action.
During the final coordinating meeting of Task Force NCR, Sinas said they have been ordered by Gen. Gamboa to ensure ‘zero-trouble’ during the major sporting events to be hosted by the Duterte government.
The two officials led the send-off ceremonies for members of the NCR Task Group assigned to secure the 30th ASEAN Games starting this coming November 30.
Lt. Gen. Gamboa said he expects participating police officers to perform their tasks with the highest degree of professionalism, dedication, integrity and courage.
“The 30th SEA Games event calls for the active participation and collaboration of every concerned entity not only to ensure its success but rather to deliver the best SEA Game 2019 edition, beating the high expectation of our counterparts,” the PNP-OIC said.
Police are already enforcing a gun ban in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions and La Union province where all Permit-to-Carry-Firearms-Outside-of-Residence or PTCFORs issued to licensed gunholders have been suspended starting Wednesday until December 14 as part of the massive security preparations for the 30th SEA Games to be hosted by the country.
The suspension means that persons with valid PTCFORs in the three regions and one province won’t be able to carry their licensed guns during the next 24-days, explained Gen. Gamboa.
Sinas, Police Regional Office 3 director, Brig. Gen. Rhodel O. Sermonia and Police Regional Office 4-A director, Brig. Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. recommended the suspension of all PTCFORs in the three regions during the duration of the 30th SEA Games.
PRO1 director, Brig. Gen. Joel S. Orduña also recommended the same in the entire La Union province which will also be the venue of some SEA Games events.
During the SEA Games, only members of the PNP, the Armed Forces and other Law Enforcement Agencies who are performing official duties and in Agency-prescribe uniforms and participants to the 30th SEA Games 2019 shooting competition shall be allowed to carry firearms.
The PNP-OIC said that a total of 20,000 personnel from different government agencies will be fielded to provide security and safety services to over 10,000 athletes from different Southeast Asian countries set to participate in the forthcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games or 2019 SEA Games to be hosted by the country.
The athletes and their coaching staff and other sports officials from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Timor Leste, Singapore, Vietnam and host-Philippines will participate in 56 sporting events.
The opening ceremony of the SEA Games will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan tomorrow. The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Athletics Stadium and Aquatic Center in New Clark City as well as the Manila Polo Club are among the venues which will be used for various sports events until December 11.
The competition venues spread in 23 cities across the country, divided into four clusters in Metro Manila, Clark, Subic and Olongapo.