At the onset of the summer holiday season and the expected influx of visitors to tourist destinations and places of worship, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has launched its annual “Ligtas Sumvac (Summer Vacation) 2023 campaign.
The annual summer holiday begins at the onset of the summer season in April wherein several events will be observed such as Holy Week in the first week of April and onwards to the Fiesta and Flores de Mayo season in May before the rainy season.
To jumpstart the campaign, the PNP has released a set of operational guidelines for police units and stations which aims to provide a safe and peaceful environment for the people who will travel to their respective provinces or tourist destinations across the country to observe holy week and celebrate local fiestas and other significant events.
It will also intensify checkpoints operations to ensure safety and security of all commuters. All police regional offices were also directed to conduct regular inspection and mobile patrols to ensure maximum police presence in crowded places such as bus terminals, seaports, airports, and other transport hubs.
PNP Chief Police General Rodolfo S Azurin Jr also instructed all regional and provincial police offices to activate their contingency plans and maximize the deployment of personnel through Tourist Police Units in their respective areas of responsibility in coordination with local government units (LGUs), local tourism councils and Department of Tourism (DOT). He also reminded the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.
“We are expecting a large number of people to travel especially during the Holy Week, and we want to make sure that they will have a safe and enjoyable experience. We call on the public to cooperate with us and follow the rules and regulations set by the government to deter the occurrence of crimes”, PGen Azurin said.
To assist the public and promptly address specific complaints, Assistance Hubs (AHs) and Police Assistance Desks (PADs) with a total of 38,387 officers will be deployed for enhanced police presence through mobile and foot/beat patrol, while an additional 39,504 officers will be deployed for specific areas of convergence such as major thoroughfares, transportation hubs, terminals, commercial areas, and places of worship.
Azurin also urged all local police to enhance collaboration with their respective LGUs, other law enforcement agencies, and private security providers and other force multipliers to prevent or minimize the occurrence of untoward incidents.
Moreover, the operational guidelines also encouraged coordination with the managers/owners of resorts, beaches, and other establishments for the continued implementation of minimum public heath standard relative to Covid-19 pandemic.
During the entire period, the PNP will continue to intensify its campaign against illegal drugs, gambling, and other criminal activities. It will also continue to implement its Oplan Sita, which aims to reduce the incidents of crimes in the streets.
“We want to remind everyone that safety should be our top priority. Let us all work together to make this entire summer vacation a safe and meaningful one,” Azurin added.
Furthermore, the PNP also ensured that all its personnel were properly trained and briefed on the importance of human rights protection, especially in the conduct of police operations.
They were reminded to always act with integrity, professionalism, and respect for the law in their dealings with the public.