LEGAZPI CITY, March 22 (PNA) -- Security for the summer vacation, especially the Holy Week, is now well in place, the top Philippine National Police Bicol official said Tuesday.
Police Chief Supt. Augusto M. Marquez Jr., PNP Bicol regional director, said his directive for this purpose stands effective up to May 31.
Senior Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, PNP-Bicol spokesperson, said the regional office prepared Summer Vacation and Holy Week Security Plan early as, she said, it would be better to prepare ahead for the influx of travelers and vacationists for the Holy Week and various occasions during summer.
The plan covers big events, especially in the Province of Albay, like Daragang Magayon Festival and Palarong Pambansa.
It also includes the national and local elections, Philippine Veterans Week, Araw ng Kagitingan, Labor Day, National Flag Day, Flores de Mayo and village feasts.
Included in the directive of Marquez, Calubaquib said, is the setting up of motorist assistance centers (MACs) along the stretch of the Maharlika Highway from Tabogon, Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte to Matnog, Sorsogon.
MACs have also been put up in Catanduanes and Masbate.
Also established were police assistance desks (PADs) in populous areas like terminals, airports, seaports, markets, malls and churches as well as tourist destinations that are often visited by local and foreign tourists during vacations and Holy Week.
The PNP-Bicol has also placed checkpoints in entry and exit points and intensified police patrols and visibility, especially in areas of convergence.
These precautionary measures are being observed 24/7, Calubaquib said.
About 5,000 Bicol police officers are in full duty during the summer vacation period.
Of this number, 1,198 are assigned in prime tourist destinations in the region, 266 in transportation hubs, 2,901 for route security and 635 in vital installations.
Providing assistance are the 3,794 force multipliers from different sectors of the society like the village volunteer security men, security guards, traffic enforcers, radio groups like the Kabalikat Civicom and barangay peacekeeping and action teams or BPATS, Calubaquib said.
She said around 8,794 will be the combined force of the police and force multipliers.
The PNP official said every police station in the region has a hotline through which the public can ask for help.
All these measures are in place to ensure safety and orderliness in the region, including the celebrations being done in the six provinces of the region.(PNA) FFC/FGS/NIM/CBD/EDS