THE Philippine National Police (PNP) and all concerned stakeholders have forged a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Thursday, January 4, 2023, for the implementation of the Kaligtasan at Kalikasan (Kaligkasan) program here in Zamboanga Peninsula.
Police Lieutenant General Rhodel Sermonia, PNP deputy chief for administration, said the Kaligkasan program is aimed at boosting and promoting the tourism industry of a particular place through the protection of the environment.
“We cannot just promote tourism kung ang isang lugar ay marumi, hindi protektado ang environment at walang peace and order (If a place is dirty, the environment is not protected and there is no peace and order),” Sermonia said in an interview with SunStar Zamboanga.
The Kaligkasan program is a project of the PNP that aims to forge a stronger relationship between the police and the community to support the government’s agenda for peace and order and security, and in protecting the environment.
Dr. Albert Martinez, Kaligkasan national convenor, said the program will also help provide job opportunities to the local populace with a good and thriving tourism industry.
“Ang produkto po nito ay tourism, sa pagkaroon tayo ng magandang tourism sa isang area nating na protektahan, marami po ang makakaroon ng trabajo na locals (its product is tourism, when we have good tourism in an area that we protect, there will be many local jobs),” Martinez said.
“There will be a ripple effect to countrymen and that is employment opportunities,” he added.
He acknowledged that climate change is a big challenge to the implementation of the Kaligkasan project.
However, he said the project can be successful with the help of everyone.
Aside from the police, the other signatories of the MOU include officials and representatives of the military, local government, Department of Tourism, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and civic groups.
The MOU signing ceremony was held at the Bigkis Lahi Multi-Purpose Hall of Camp Colonel Romeo Abendan which houses the Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula headquarters in Mercedes village, Zamboanga City. (SunStar Zamboanga)