Coast Guard, metro police rev up security for Monday polls, Undas

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Friday, October 25, 2013

THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and metro police forces on Friday started to gear up for the upcoming barangay elections on Monday up to the All Saints Day and All Souls Day celebration on November 1 to 2.

oast Guard Public Affairs chief Commander Armando Balilo said that the agency recently ordered all its officials and personnel to brace up security measures on all ports and ferry terminals the country since volume of shipping passengers expected to rise along the different port terminals in the next couple of days for Monday’s Barangay Election upcoming All-Saints’ and All-Souls’ Day feasts next weekend.

Balilo aded that PCG continues to tighten security on all ports and ferry terminals across the archipelago in connection with “Oplan Ligtas Biyahe” of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

“Tuwing Undas, we see an upsurge of more than 200 percent of passengers coming in ports so we need to mobilize additional personnel. All personnel nationwide also will be placed on heightened alert for security purposes upon the DOTC’s instruction and we will deploy additional personnel on all critical ports to ensure orderly, safe, convenient and secure sea travel," Balilo said.

Coast Guard units are also advised to ensure that all maritime activities are monitored 24/7 and that all PCG personnel and assets are ready and prepared to respond to any maritime incident.

Balilo added that they maritime agency will continuously monitor the local security in critical areas particularly in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Basilan.

“We will exercise extra vigilance in ports with random checks on passengers and luggage more than the usual. He also appeals for the patient understanding and cooperation of the passengers with regards to the tighter security steps enforced for the passenger exodus to ascertain their travel safety”, Balilo said.

He added that passengers should be at the seaport at least three hours before departure time, avoiding restricted cargo such as flammable liquids and solids, corrosive materials, toxic and infectious substances, compressed gasses, radioactive materials and explosives to avoid search delays and inconveniences.

Balilo also reminded the civilian firearm owners regarding the gun ban for barangay polls while advised those men in uniform to present complete documents which includes firearm license, permit to carry and mission order and or letter from the respective mother units if they want to bring their firearms on board a shipping vessel.

Passenger Assistance Center booths will be manned jointly by teams from PCG, Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), and the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) with close coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Meanwhile PCI Robert Domingo, spokesperson of the National Capital Region Police Office (PNP NCRPO), told Sun.Star in a phone interview that they are expected to deploy at least 8,000 police officers.

“Hindi pa naming masabi kung ilang exact na pulis ang i-dedeploy naming sa Undas kasi sa ngayon busy pa ‘yung mga pulis natin para sa darating na eleksyon,” he said.

Domingo said, they will be working together with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which will focus on 22 major cemeteries for public assistance since it is a prerogative on their department.

PNP members to be deployed in bus terminals will depend on how big the expected population in a certain terminal.

“Sa mga terminals, depende sa laki nung terminal. Gaya sa Araneta Center Terminal, madami kaming i-dedeploy doon gawa nang malaki talaga ang bilang ng tao na inaasahang dadagsa doon,” Domingo said. (Sunnex)

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