By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — At the onset of the summer season, the Philippine National Police (PNP) heats up security measures through the “Ligtas Sumvac (Summer Vacation) 2022” campaign.
To jumpstart this initiative, the PNP National Headquarters has released a set of operational guidelines to better ensure that minimum public health standards and peace and order are maintained especially in tourist destinations or places of worship.
The months of April and May are marked with the observance of the Lenten Season, commemoration of the national holidays and celebration of fiestas and other related gathering. It is also expected that visitors, both local and foreign, will troop to various tourist spots during the summer break.
The PNP anticipates for a larger crowd this year since many tourism sites have been reopening following the hiatus due to the strict quarantine restrictions in the past two years.
“We are alerting all police units and stations to strictly adhere to our guidelines so we can avoid the resurgence of Covid cases and deter crimes from happening,” PNP Chief General Dionardo Carlos said.
Under the guidelines, police units and stations are asked to start coordinating with community-based volunteers and force multipliers to be deployed whenever there is a significant activity.
Police authorities must work hand-in-hand with the Department of Tourism or their counterparts in the localities to produce and distribute safety tips that can serve as guide for tourists.
Regular inspection of tourist sites is also a must alongside the conduct of mobile patrols and implementation of maximum police visibility in places of convergence and vital installations such as the passenger terminals.
Each police station assigned in the LGUs must also activate their tourist police to focus on specific complaints so immediate action can be taken.
“We remind our establishments and other tourist-related businesses to continue practicing the health protocol and to have their own system of guest monitoring. If prohibitions like the curfew and liquor ban are still in effect in areas where they belong, then they are obliged to adhere,” Carlos stresses.
The safety of everyone, despite the easing of protocol, can only be attained if there is a concerted effort among stakeholders. (ai/mtvn)