MANILA More than 400 policemen will be deployed to prevent vandalism and theft on private property in the island of Boracay as its closure starts this week.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde said the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) under Chief Supt. Hawthorne Binag will be in charge of securing the island, adding that they will be augmented by military troops if the need arises.
"(Chief Supt.) Binag will be in full control and supervision and we will give him the responsibility on how to deal with the misdeeds. He will be there and will monitor 24 hours a day dahil implement niya closure on the 26th at of course binigyan natin sya ng babala sa mga pulis din na baka mamaya mababoy yung mga establishments. Meron naman silang sariling billet areas, (He will implement the closure on the 26th and we cautioned him for cops to secure the establishments. They will be given their own billet areas)," the new PNP chief said.
Albayalde said crowd control police will exercise maximum tolerance when dealing with any possible protests from locals, adding that a relocation program for those who will lose employment during the island's rehabilitation period is already in the works.
"Marami tayong pulis doon. More than 400 will be deployed in the area. What we heard sa regional peace and order council meeting natin sa Luzon Visayas cluster ay mabibigyan naman ng financial assistance yung mga mawawalan ng trabaho doon by our government so we expect less resistance dito and what we heard also yung mga nagtatrabaho they transferred to other places already gaya sa Batangas, (We have police in place and financial assistance will be given to those who lose jobs and we heard some of them have already transferred to other places like Batangas)," Albayalde added.
Malacanang announced the closure of the island for rehabilitation after up to 90 percent of the 1,000-hectare island was flooded and became impassable after strong rains last December.
The incident trapped hundreds of tourists who could not board the boats to and from the island.
Much of the blame has fallen on unregulated development of tourist lodgings and hotels of all sizes. Some of them have no proper sewage disposal lines or have filled up wetlands which would have absorbed the rain, thus temporarily storing flood waters. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency