Government agencies on alert for Holy Week exodus

POLICEMEN and coast guard officers will take extra effort to maintain peace and order before and after the Holy Week exodus.

National Capital Region Police Office Director Carmelo Valmoria said policemen have been directed to be more vigilant in their areas of deployment and ensure the safety of the riding public.

Heightened police visibility is also expected at crowded areas such as public transportation terminals, malls and parks.

"Marami nang nakauwi sa kanilang mga probinsya lalo na 'yung mga students, pero mas inaasahan natin na marami pang babyahe papasok at palabas ng kamaynilaan sa darating na Semana Santa," he said.

Valmoria urged the public to take pre-cautionary measures to avoid being involved in any untoward incident.

"Mahalaga pa rin ang ibayong pag-iingat ng ating mga kababayan, kahit anong ingat ng ating kapulisan kung sila naman ay nagpapabaya ay wala pa din tayong magagawa," he said.

From April 11 to April 20 or Easter Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will also be on heightened alert in anticipation of Holy Week travelers.

“It is really on April 11, the Friday and last working day of the week before Holy Week, when we expect more people to head to the ports and board ships in order to be ahead of the other travelers,” said Coast Guard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo.

Balilo said that during Holy Week, all PCG personnel including the PCG’s Deployable Response Group made up of elite divers, the Special Operation Group and the K-9 units would be reporting for duty.

There are also sea marshals who would board passenger ships to monitor and ensure the safety of the travelers.

The PCG would be using newly purchased 40 rubber boats, 300 aluminum boats and 10 trucks that have been distributed to its 12 districts.

According to the PCG spokesperson, they would also be reviving the Public Assistance Desk in the ports wherein personnel from the Philippine Ports Authority and the Maritime Industry Authority will handle and attend to the concerns of passengers. (Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)


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