THE city disaster office will be on red alert this Holy Week to better respond to emergencies involving devotees who will visit the different pilgrimage sites in the city.
An official of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (CDRRMD) said the office will be activating its Incident Management Team (IMT) on Tuesday, March 27 and will stay active until after Easter Sunday, April 1.
CDRRMD officer Allan Porcadilla said the security plan is already in place after the coordination meeting last Monday with the police, military, fire department, Philippine Red Cross, Philippine Coast Guard, the City Health Office, the Roads and Traffic Administration, Oro Rescue, and village officials of Cugman, Tablon, Agusan and Balubal.
Porcadilla said they will start the deployment of personnel on Wednesday afternoon.
The city has two pilgrimage destinations that usually draw crowd every Maundy Thursday and Holy Friday-- the Malasag walkway in barangay Cugman where the stations of the cross are situated and the Guadalupe Shrine in Barangay Agusan where devotees cross rivers and walk for about four hours to complete the faithful's 'Panaad.'
Porcadilla said medical teams headed by the City Health Office and the Oro Rescue will be positioned at these sites to respond to medical needs and other safety and security concerns.
The disaster office is urging those who will make their regular 'Panaad' to take their meals and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Authorities also advised homeowners who will leave their houses unattended to secure them to thwart plans of criminal groups who may take advantage of this religious activity.
"Ang atong pahinumdom pud sa tanan nga likayan ang pagdala sa mga gibawal kay sigurado gyud nga i-confiscate na sa otoridad (We are reminding everybody to avoid bringing prohibited items such as loud speakers, alcoholic beverages and bladed weapons because it will be confiscated)," Porcadilla said.
Porcadilla said all CDRRMD personnel will have to report for work and stay alert during the Holy Week.
"Naka red alert status ta hangtod nga mag-deactivate and IMT," Porcadilla said. (We are on red alert until the IMT is deactivated)
The Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has already told the public that it is all ready to safeguard the city against all forms of threats and criminality.
Cocpo spokesperson Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa II said they just need the cooperation of the community and urged everyone to stay vigilant and be security-conscious.