PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has ordered increased police presence in schools and universities and their surrounding areas as regular classes resumed yesterday in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
Gen. Albayalde said he wants at least two policemen to guard each school in Metro Manila and the rest of the country and has given his regional directors to raise their alert level depending on the prevailing peace and order condition on their areas. An estimated 29 million students are expected to return to their classrooms this month.
Since last month, he said concerned PNP units have been coordinating their security measures with the Department of Education, Department of Health, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and its different agencies as well as school authorities.
For his part, National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that the NCRPO’s operational guidelines will focus on the general safety of students, restoring and maintaining order in school vicinities, crime prevention and the continuing campaign against criminal elements and crime syndicates.
Eleazar said they are targeting ‘zero crime incidents’ in different public and private schools and other learning institutions and asked for the full cooperation of the community in helping them detect and arrest criminality and protect an estimated 2.6 million students and the rest of the general public.
The NCRPO director issued the statement as he ordered massive police deployment at the University Belt District of Manila and other schools and universities in the metropolis to complement foot and mobile operations of Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams and local police police units.
Eleazar said the NCRPO is implementing maximum deployment of Beat Patrols, Tactical Motorcycle Riders and mobile and bike patrols in school zones and likewise will field bus marshals/detectives.
“We are also engaging all traffic enforcers and our force multipliers within the vicinities of schools, bus and jeepney stops and terminals,” he said. The official has also ordered a Metro Manila-wide enforcement of traffic laws pertaining to overloading in motorcycles, tricycles, jeepneys and other school service vehicles as part of their effort to ensure the protection of students.
Eleazar said they are also preparing for the rainy season and ready to respond to the security needs of the public during the occurrence of flashfloods and other man-made and natural calamities.
“However, we can’t do this alone and we need to solicit full public support and cooperation,” he said. The official also reminded the public to be vigilant and alert at all times.
“Criminals may take advantage during calamities and disasters. Huwag po nating hayaang malusutan tayo ng mga kawatan o ng iba pang mga masasamang loob sa panahon ng tag-ulan,” Eleazar said.
Gen. Albayalde said all PNP operational guidelines and procedures will be implemented by concerned police units tasked to support the DepEd’s Oplan Balik-Eskwela 2019. The massive security preparations also jive with the PNP Campaign Plan: Double Barrel which is aimed at arresting illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the country.
“Our priority concerns are incidents of bullying and street crimes such as pickpocket, snatching, swindling, robbery/hold-up, and street-level drug trafficking,” the country’s top cop said.
According to Gen. Albayalde, thousands of policemen have been deployed across the country where nearly 8,000 Police Assistance Desks or PADs have been established in coordination with local government units, Parents-Teachers Associations and non-government organizations.
“Local PNP units also have been instructed to coordinate closely with school administrators and education officials to increase police visibility operations at school premises to prevent out of school youth from bullying pupils/students during the whole school year,” he said.