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PNP gets ready for school opening

The Philippine National Police has announced a nationwide security and public safety plan ahead of the opening of the next school year in June.

PNP Chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome, Police Director Samuel Diciano, PNP Director for Operations, issued a Memorandum mobilizing all PNP Regional Offices and National Support Units to perform specific tasks and coordinating instructions to implement a nationwide security and public safety plan to protect students from street crime and organized crime groups.

An estimated 30 million students in different levels are expected to troop to school for the simultaneous opening of classes in both public and private learning institutions beginning on June 4, 2012.

The Memorandum directed all Police Regional Offices to ensure operational readiness of police units in responding to peace and order concerns including threats from criminal elements that may take advantage of the situation.

PNP Spokesman, Senior Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr.  said Regional Directors were given discretionary authority to raise alert conditions as they deem necessary to effectively implement their respective security and public safety plans.

Of priority concern to the PNP are incidents of street crimes such as pickpocketing, snatching, swindling, robbery/hold-up, and street-level drug trafficking, Cerbo said.

He added, police patrols in the vicinity of schools will also be on the look-out for drug traffickers and violent street gangs that may infiltrate the ranks of students.

Local PNP units were instructed to coordinate closely with school administrators and officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission of Higher Education (CHED) to ensure safety and security of students.

In Metro Manila, the entire 16,000-strong National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) from the five Police Districts will field its personnel in strategic areas within the vicinity of schools for foot, mobile and police visibility patrols and establish Police Assistance Desks manned by police and BPAT personnel with the strategic goal of “zero crime incident in all school and university areas”.

NCRPO Chief, Director Alan Purisima is fielding the Motorized Anti-Street Crime Operatives (MASCO) to complement foot and mobile patrol operations of BPAT and local police units in vicinity of schools.

In coordination with LGUs, DOTC and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the NCRPO will spearhead traffic management operations in the vicinity of schools particularly in the University Belt area of Manila.

According to Cerbo, similar security measures will be implemented in seaports, airports, and land transport terminals in anticipation of the heavy volume of incoming passengers from the provinces, mostly transient students returning to the city to attend school.

Cerbo said the opening of classes in June is the culmination of the 3-month Oplan Summer Vacation (SumVac) launched in March.