Four days to the launching of the Philippines' chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Sunday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) started deploying over 1,400 police officers to the different areas of activities on Tuesday.
On Saturday, the PNP said some 3,000 police officers, members of Task Force Davao, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other force multipliers would have been deployed to secure places and delegates of the ASEAN Summit.
Most of the police personnel, particularly from the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), will be assigned in the activity and billeting areas as well as securing roads.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Regional Office XI spokesperson Chief Inspector Andrea Dela Cerna said the region remains on high alert status.
Davao City will be the center of two major international activities this month. Aside from the ASEAN Summit, the city will also host one segment of the Miss Universe 2016.
For ASEAN alone, the city is expecting more than 1,000 delegates which includes representatives from the diplomatic community, representatives from the private sector, national and local government units and business groups.
PNP XI regional director Manuel Gaerlan has encouraged police personnel to closely coordinate with other units helping in the security of ASEAN. He reminded them on their primary mission which is to make sure the visitors and the public are safe and secured.
The Davao City's Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) laid down tighter security measures for the ASEAN Summit during a coordination meeting last week with Task Force Davao, the DCPO, Central 911, City Traffic and Transportation Management Office, and the Joint Task Force Haribon.
This year marks the Philippines' assumption as chair of the ASEAN with President Rodrigo Duterte taking the helm of the country's leadership.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar earlier said the launch this year will help raise awareness regarding the country's summit hosting and its benefits. The ASEAN 2017 is also significant because it coincides with the organization's 50th year anniversary.
Andanar said the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) will be the lead committee on media affairs and communications to spread awareness and educate the public about the ASEAN.
Andanar noted that while 81 percent of ASEAN citizens have heard of the regional grouping, only 24 percent have a basic understanding of what it is and its purpose.
To heighten awareness, PCO will roll out roadshows nationwide where representatives from PCO will deliver talks, conduct seminars and distribute reading materials written in different Philippine dialects,
Among the ASEAN 2017's priorities include people-oriented and people-centered initiatives, peace and stability, maritime security and cooperation, inclusive and innovative-led growth, ASEAN resiliency and ASEAN as model of regionalism.
The ASEAN 2017 theme is, "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World."
Source: Philippines News Agency