MANDAUE City's crime rate decreased by about five percent in 2023, an official of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) reported.
Lieutenant Colonel Mercy Villaro, spokesperson of the MCPO, said that in the whole year of 2023, Mandaue City recorded only 4,194 crimes, which is about 226 fewer than the 4,420 recorded in 2022.
Petty crimes like theft still had the highest number of cases at 66, followed by rape with 14 cases and murder with 11 cases.
But there was a significant drop in other crimes like robbery, which went from 18 cases in 2022 to seven cases in 2023; and physical injury, which decreased from 30 cases in 2022 to eight cases in 2023.
In terms of traffic incidents, reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property remained the top recorded issue, decreasing from 1,207 cases in 2022 to 562 cases in 2023. Reckless imprudence resulting in physical injury also decreased from 756 cases in 2022 to 360 cases in 2023.
Petty crime for homicide remained at three cases, while reckless imprudence resulting in homicide remained at 21 cases for both 2022 and 2023.
Police Colonel Maribel Getigan, director of MCPO, attributed the decrease to the ongoing security operations of the police office, including daily checkpoints and foot and mobile patrols in strategic areas.
She also mentioned that the city had zero crime incidents, particularly during big events like the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in October and the All Saints’ and Souls’ Day celebration in November last year.
Getigan assured the public that the police office would continue to exert more effort to maintain maximum security in Mandaue City.
She emphasized that they will be strict in enforcing city ordinances.
Specifically, they will be strictly implementing Mandaue's curfew hours, which will start from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. This is to ensure that minors will not be loitering around the streets and will be prevented from getting into any trouble during those hours.
Intensify police visibility
During a meeting last week, the Peace and Order Council of Mandaue agreed to increase police visibility to minimize criminal activities and rescue children on the streets.
Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes, who is also the council chairman, said the initiative not only aims to improve security but also to encourage investors to do business in the city by creating a safer and more secure environment.
Cortes emphasized that with the city being safe and secure, businesses would be more likely to invest in Mandaue, which would boost the city's economy.
According to data from the City Treasurer's Office (CTO), the city collected a total of P1.2 billion in business tax in 2023. This is an increase of about P157 million compared to the P1.096 billion collection in 2022.
Cortes also tasked the City of Mandaue City Social Welfare Services (CSWS) to coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Central Visayas (DSWD 7) to rescue some children in the streets.
Cortes said that oftentimes, these children are blamed for street crimes, which they try to avoid in Mandaue.
"Ako nakahinumdom ko kaniadto nay mga involved ani nila (street children) og snatching kanang mga naa sa jeepneys. Wa pa na mahitabo sa ato pero di ta gusto nga ang unsay nahitabo sa ubang dakbayan mahitabo sad sa dakbayan sa Mandaue," said Cortes.
(I remember that in the past, they were involved in snatching those in jeepneys. It has not happened to us but we don't want what happened in other cities to happen in Mandaue City.)
Camilo S. Basaca Jr., head of CSWS, said his office has assigned a team from its children and youth division to prioritize the rescue of street children, including the sea tribe (Badjao) and other street dwellers in Mandaue.
Basaca also reported that Mandaue had coordinated with its neighboring cities, particularly the Cebu City Government, to have conferences, particularly among barangay captains, for the rescue of these individuals since 2022.
He emphasized, though, that the street children in Mandaue are not homeless.
Basaca said the City has taken measures to protect children, such as strengthening its local council. This council comprises the police, Mandaue City Council, and other agencies.
The council is mandated to conduct daily outreach programs and educate parents through information and education campaigns (IEC). The objective is to discourage parents from involving their children in street livelihoods and ensure that children's rights are well implemented.
"Most of the time, the parents of these other (street) children often sell on the street as well. So, we reach out to the children, we will take a profile and if they have parents, then we will schedule a case conference to determine what barangay they belong to," said Basaca.
Basaca said the City's main goal is to protect children's rights while taking into account their family status and lifestyle. (HIC)