THE local police force, in coordination with the Task Force Zamboanga, have beefed up security to protect provincial buses against bombing.

This came after six people were injured Sunday, April 24, when a bomb exploded aboard a bus while it was on stopover in Making village, Parang, Maguindanao.

Police Colonel Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director said that personnel of the 1st Zamboanga City Mobile Force Company (1ZCMFC) were deployed to secure the Integrated Bus Terminal in Divisoria village, Zamboanga City.

Lorenzo said 1ZCMFC personnel were backed by explosive ordnance demolition (EOD) and K9 unit of the police.

"They conduct paneling and inspect all buses, especially baggage before departure at the IBT," Lorenzo said.

The Task Force Zamboanga has fielded bus marshals to ensure security of the buses while on travel.

Rafael Derick Evangelista, the IBT administrator, said they cater to a total of 68 outbound trips daily. These trips are: Zamboanga-Pagadian, 35 trips; Zamboanga-Dipolog, 22; Zamboanga-Cagayan de Oro, eight; Zamboanga-Cebu, one; and Zamboanga-Bacolod via Dumaguete, two.

He said the latest outbound passengers totaled to 1,553 and 2,000 inbound.

Before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IBT caters to a maximum of 3,500 daily, both outbound and inbound. (SunStar Zamboanga)