MANILA -- Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo AAo has ordered all local government units (LGUs) in the country to keep their places safe during the Holy Week, as heavy people traffic is expected all over the country, with Filipinos' penchant for observing traditional religious rites and even recreation.
In a memorandum circular dated March 21, 2018, AAo told all local executives to mobilize their law and traffic enforcers, barangay tanods, peacekeeping action teams, public safety officers during the Christian holiday in the country.
He also told the LGUs to intensify visibility in local and national roads, to deploy patrol in crime-prone areas, and to heighten traffic management.
He cited seaports, airports and other transportation terminals, pilgrimages, churches, markets, other travel destinations, and public places as priority areas.
The Holy Week will begin on Palm Sunday (March 25) and culminates on Easter Sunday (April 1) this year.
"Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a time for spiritual recollection for Filipinos. LGUs should ensure that people can undertake their activities without worrying about their safety," AAo said.
AAo urged local chief executives (LCEs) to convene their respective Local Peace and Order Councils (LPOCs) for action planning, anticipating, and preparing for the massive number of Filipinos traveling from various places.
"We encourage LCEs to be proactive in activating their LPOCs for Semana Santa 2018 to put the highest priority in peace, order, and public safety while ensuring adequate transportation, medical emergency services," he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) also launched on Friday "Ligtas SUMVAC 2018", a 90-day security plan that covers the Holy Week until the second week of June.
The security plan entails rigorous mandatory security checks at airports, seaports, and bus terminals to bar criminals or terrorists who might take advantage of the holidays.
Oplan Bantay-Lakbay Police Assistance Centers will also be activated along national highways with the Highway Patrol Group leading the road safety operations in coordination with territorial units. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency