CATHOLIC churches in Cebu City will beef up security today until Sunday.

This, as the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC) raised the red alert status not only in urban areas but also in mountain barangays during the same period.

Samson Dasoc, coordinator of the United Security Group (USG) for the churches, said that heightened security will be implemented at the Basilica Del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Our Lady of Scared Heart Parish, Redemptorist Church, Capitol Parish and Asilo Dela Milagrosa Church.

The USG is working with the Parish Security Group (PSG) to prepare for the Holy Week activities. The Holy Week security preparations will serve as trial run for the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.

During the Buhing Kalbaryo tomorrow, Dasoc said that 50 personnel will be deployed for crowd control.

The CCDRRMC also arranged for emergency teams to be on alert during the church activities.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, also CCDRRMC presiding officer, said that 19 ambulances and 84 paramedics are on stand-by during the Lenten holidays.

Firetrucks and firefighters will also be on alert, he said.

He said that job-order workers who are assigned to CCDRRMC have not been allowed to go on leave or take their days off.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama urged everyone, especially business establishments, to be watchful.

“Peace and order is everybody's business. Everyone should be vigilant, especially convenience stores, gasoline stations, cellular phone shops, pawnshops and money changers,” he said.

Tumulak also urged residents to take additional precautions before leaving their houses.

Precautions include turning off all electrical appliances, checking leaks in liquefied petroleum gas tanks and security locks.

Kung mahimo magpahibalo sila sa ilang tapad na mulakaw sila, para naay makatan-aw sa ilang panimalay (They may ask their neighbors to help watch over their houses while they are gone) ,” he said. (USJ-R Mass Comm Intern Mikee Kristine Beltran)