THE Department of Public Works and Highways reactivated its project to assist motorists who will flock to the provinces for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said starting 7 a.m. today up to 12 noon on Monday, the DPWH “Lakbay Alalay” Team will provide prompt and reliable assistance to motorists and travellers going to visit their departed loved ones.
“Lakbay Alalay” is an annual public service program of the DPWH offering motorists help such as rescuing troubled vehicles, giving of directions to visitors and applying first aid in emergency situations.
Villar instructed all regional directors and district engineers to deploy composite teams on a round-the-clock shift at strategic locations, particularly on national highways leading to public and private cemeteries as well as columbaria and churches, where people visit and commemorate memories of dearly departed family members.
Earlier, Villar also reminded the DPWH field units to keep national roads safe by implementing various highway routine maintenance activities on carriageway and roadsides, including the installation of informative/regulatory warning signs or traffic advisories.
The DPWH is in close coordination with other government entities such as the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units for any required assistance.
BJMP ON BLUE ALERT STATUS
Except for one area, all regions of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) are on a blue alert status for the Undas holidays.
BJMP chief Director Allan Iral said that only Region 4-A (Calabarzon) has been placed under red alert following reports that members of the New People’s Army (NPA) are out to rescue their detained comrades taking advantage of the long weekends, where people are usually in cemeteries.
“Meron kasing nadagdag na huling NPA members kaya medyo alerto tayo,” Iral told People’s Journal.
He, however, requested that the jail where these members of the leftist group are confined would not be mentioned.
Calabarzon stands for Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
Unlike on a red alert status where 100 percent attendance is required, regional directors can tap at least 50 percent of its total personnel under a blue alert status.
Iral directed BJMP Region 4A director Chief Supt. Amelia Rayandayan not to take any chances and be prepared for any eventualities such as the reported rescue attempt.
PRC READY TO ASSIST
The Philippine Red Cross is all set to provide assistance during the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.
PRC chairman and CEO Sen. Richard Gordon said 156 ambulances and more than 1,700 staff and volunteers nationwide will be mobilized for the occasion.
“As always, PRC is in full operation to accommodate everyone, especially our kababayans who will be going home to their respective provinces to visit their departed loved-ones. We want to ensure their safety,” he said.
PRC will set up 168 first aid stations and 120 welfare desks in 147 cemeteries and memorial parks as well as major highways, including North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Tarlac - Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX), Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), ports and bus terminals, and beaches.
There will be 39 roving and 117 standby ambulances deployed in strategic places while foot patrollers will be positioned in hard to reach areas like cemetery alleys.
CRIMINALS DON’T GO ON A HOLIDAY – AÑO
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año reminded local government units and law enforcement agencies to be vigilant because criminals don’t go on a holiday.
According to Año, even how prepared the police are, lawless elements can always take advantage of every situation, especially this time of the year when all roads lead to cemeteries.
The DILG said that weeks before Undas, LGUs and attached agencies of the Department had already been working to ensure the safety and well-being of all travellers and cemetery-goers.
“Ang Undas naman ay taunang paggunita sa ating mga namayapang kaanak kaya tinitiyak naming ilang linggo pa lamang bago ang araw na ito ay may plano na para sa seguridad ng mga tao,” Ano said.
DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-174 reminds all LGUs to be on top of the commemoration of All Saints’ Day by “implementing all necessary measures towards a peaceful and safe observance of Undas 2019.”
“Criminals don’t go on a holiday. On the contrary, this is their season to wreak havoc and victimize our kababayans. We need all law enforcement units and force multipliers to be alert at all times,” he said.
With Joel dela Torre