THE Philippine Coast Guard is beefing up security in southern Cebu even if there is no foreseen threat in the area.
Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) head Michael Lloyd Dino said Saturday, Feb. 9, new patrol boats from Japan, France and Australia are used by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in patrolling southern Cebu.
The PCG also heightened security checks in the ports of entry in Cebu using K9 units and updated security systems in coordination with the Cebu Port Authority.
“With the lifting of the travel ban by the UK (United Kingdom) Government (on Feb. 7), we expect more tourists to come in. The tourism industry will continue to boom, and livelihood will be sustained,” Dino said.
Dino said his assurance of safety and security in southern Cebu is supported by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency, PCG, Maritime Industry Authority, Department of Tourism, Cebu Port Authority and Central Command.
It was Dino who brought all the government agencies concerned to Oslob and Badian last Feb. 3 to show the UK Government that southern Cebu is safe. On Jan. 27, the UK had advised against all but essential travel to southern Cebu following the bombing in a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu that killed 23 people.
He said the UK travel ban was a dangerous precedent because other countries might follow suit, affecting not only the economy of Cebu and the country but also the livelihood of the people, especially in Oslob and Badian, whose main industry is tourism.
“I hope other countries will also appreciate our information that southern Cebu is safe,” Dino said.
Aside from the local police, southern Cebu has aleady been secured by PNP Tourist Police Units in every municipality where there are many tourists, Dino said.
He said the Provincial Police Force company and the Regional Mobile Force Batallion are in place and ready to augment the PNP forces anytime and anywhere. (EOB)