AHEAD of the early start of the milling season, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) has mapped out its security preparations to thwart entry of criminal elements into the province in the guise of being sugarcane workers.

Nocppo spokesperson Lt. Judesess Calatogo said yesterday, August 9, that they were instructed to coordinate with planters to ensure that the people they hire have no criminal records in other areas.

“Local policemen in areas with vast sugarcane plantations are told to intensify visibility and patrol operations to ensure the safety of the workers,” Catalogo said.

He said that Nocppo is urging planters to check on the backgrounds of these workers before hiring them.

So far, Catalogo said, only the Central Negros Planters Association have signified that they will start the milling season in the second week of the month which is earlier than the usual.

For his part, 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte said they are coordinating with Nocppo to stop possible entry of the members of the Communist Terrorist Groups who may pretend as sugarcane workers.

“It has been an old ploy and although this has not happened anymore in the past we will still be on the lookout and try to prevent it,” Pasaporte told SunStar Bacolod.

The top official of the army said that checkpoints will be jointly implemented in various areas by the Philippine Army and Nocppo while the milling season is ongoing.