PNP beefs up security for school opening

Oscar D. Albayalde

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said they are intensifying their security and public safety plans to ensure the protection of millions of students and the public during the opening of regular classes next Monday. 

“We have fielded about 120,000-strong police force to implement public safety plans and intensify security and police operations in responding to peace and order concerns in both public and private learning institutions with the support of the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education,” the PNP chief said.

In Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office director Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said they are fully ready for the scheduled opening of classes on June 3 and are keeping in close touch with school authorities to address all threats posed by criminals and even bomb threats.

The official added that over 7,000 police officers and men will be deployed in different public and private schools and other universities in Metro Manila during class opening with majority of the personnel set to man Police Assistance Desks and ordered to immediately provide help to students and the rest of the general public.

Eleazar said police marshals will also ride buses, taxis, jeepneys and the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and Metro Railway Transit (MRT) trains as part of their security measures aimed at deterring the presence of criminals known for taking advantage of the school opening to victimize students and even teachers.

Police will also be taking over the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations in the school vicinities in coordination with local school and barangay authorities and the Metropolitan  Manila Development Authority. Eleazar said they will be likewise getting support from more than 8,600 ‘force multipliers’ from local government units and non-governmental organizations.

Eleazar said  different police district authorities in Metro Manila have been discussing their security preparations with school authorities in their areas regularly.

Apart from keeping a watch on drug dealers, robbers, muggers and con artists known for targeting students during the school opening, the NCRPO director said they have also discussed their standard measures on how to deal with bomb threats.