Tips for a safe yet soulful Lenten season

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Holy Week in the Philippines is a poignant time for our Catholic fellowmen, as well as an opportunity for the public to take a break from the demands of the everyday to better focus on spiritual wellness. SecurityMatters Magazine gathers here top practical tips to ensure your safety this Lenten season, that you may easier dedicate a week to reflection.

Secure your homes if you’re going on a trip.

  • Lock all entrances, and secure doors and windows.
  • Store extremely valuable materials like jewelry and important documents in a safe.
  • Make sure that no candles are lit, that appliances have been unplugged, and that faucets valves are closed.

If you’re traveling in a vehicle you own, make sure it is in prime condition.

  • Check your car’s battery, lights, oil, water, brakes, air gauge, engine, and gas meter. Make sure you also have the tools required in case emergency repair is necessary.
  • Bring with you the relevant documents like your car registration certificate, as well as your insurance certificate.
  • Turn your safety locks on, especially if you’re traveling with children.

If you’re using public transportation, you must increase vigilance.

  • Avoid wearing attention-catching accessories.
  • Do not bring large amounts of cash.
  • Always be mindful of your belongings.
  • Avoid bringing too much luggage with you to minimize theft risks.
  • If you see any suspicious activity or objects, like luggage or boxes left unattended within transport stations or a faulty mechanism in public vehicles, stay calm and report to the authorities.

If you are traveling by air:

  • Departures and arrivals are expected to peak, so plan your trips accordingly.
  • Welcome and send-off parties at airport terminal should be minimized to avoid congestion, and as a courtesy to other passengers.
  • Stow all belongings in your carry-on baggage for faster processing at the screening checkpoints. Do not bring prohibited items to the airport.

If you are traveling by sea:

  • Do not patronize colorum or unregistered watercraft/vessels.
  • Buy tickets only from authorized personnel, and not from scalpers.
  • Transact only with officials/personnel in proper uniform AND with proper identification cards/documents.
  • Segregate and declare metallic objects and bladed tools for industrial use, so that these items can be tagged, turned over to maritime authorities for safekeeping, and finally retrieved at the port of destination.

If you are traveling by land:

  • If by bus and by railway, check departure and arrival schedules and buy tickets early.
  • Avoid riding colorum vehicles, as these do not have legitimate passenger insurance policies, in case of any untoward incidents.
  • Find out which roads will undergo maintenance works to avoid inconvenience.

Sources: Philippine National Police, Department of Transportation and Communications, and Ace And Associates Risk Management, Inc. (www.aceandassoc.com)

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