PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde yesterday said all security preparations are in place to secure the entry of thousands of excited tourists into the newly-rehabilitated Boracay Island, with police under orders to strictly enforce environmental laws on solid waste management, air and noise pollution, anti-littering, and protection of flora and fauna.
Joined by top PNP and military officials, the PNP chief welcomed foreign and domestic tourists to the tourism crown jewel of the country as the Metro Boracay Task Force displayed their capability to respond to any situation in the island with a simulation exercise.
“We have just witnessed a demonstration of the tactical capability of the Metro Boracay Task Force, Joint Task Force SPEAR, with component units from Police Regional Office 6, the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command, AFP Central Command and volunteers in a simulated scenario of response to emergency situations that require police intervention and multi-agency government response,” Albayalde said.
According to the PNP chief, they have completely overhauled security system and peace and order program in the island that will address the perennial issues and concerns they experienced during the previous local tourism operations prior to the six-month rehabilitation work since April.
“To deal with the anticipated heavy influx of tourist arrivals upon the formal reopening of Boracay Island, we are restructuring the organization of PNP units that will be deployed in the island as well as in mainland Malay, Aklan, with the objective of creating seamless but continguously defined areas of jurisdiction under the Malay Municipal Tourist Police Station manned by 413 police personnel,” he said.
Albayalde said that the new unit is organized with its own headquarters strategically located within Boracay Island, with frontline police services provided by five sub-stations located in Bgys. Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak; and in Caticlan and Poblacion Malay in the mainland.
The station is provided with tactical maneuverability through its own 122-strong Mobile Police Unit, with both sea and land mobile assets.
Aklan Police Provincial Office also provides tactical support to Malay MTPS through its 2nd Police Mobile Force Company, said PRO6 director Chief Supt. John Bulalacao.
The PNP chief said that the Inter-Agency Committee headquarters stationed in the Cagban Port area will provide the point of coordination in the whole-of-government approach to arising situational conditions.
He said the role of the Malay MTPS is to provide the muscle to enforce all ordinances, rules and regulations implemented by national and local government agencies in Metro Boracay. These include regulations on border control, tourist and resident arrivals, sea and land traffic, resort operations, and environmental protection.
Albayalde said the daily tourist population in Boracay shall not exceed 6,405, which is the maximum daily tourist capacity set by the Provincial Tourism Office.
He added that the PNP shall closely coordinate with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Resources and local government units in enforcing strict environmental laws on solid waste management, air and noise pollution, anti-littering, and protection of flora and fauna.