Cebu City malls adopt tighter security measures
- by Freeman News Service () - May 20, 2000 - 12:00am

CEBU CITY - The bomb explosion at the Glorietta shopping mall in Makati City has prompted similar establishments here to tighten their own security and seek the assistance of the police.

Malls here even became more security-conscious when a concessionaire at the second floor of SM City Cebu received a bomb threat past 1 p.m. the other day.

But the bomb disposal unit of the Visayas Command, which responded to the alert, declared the premises of Bingo Dinero clear after an hour-long inspection.

Although the bomb threat turned out to be a hoax, the management of SM City, Ayala Center and Gaisano Country Mall decided to increase their security personnel as a deterrent to criminal elements.

Guards at the Ayala Center conduct spot checks with the use of metal detectors on people carrying bags and packages. The guards are also closely watching suspicious-looking persons.

Shoppers with firearms were also advised to deposit them at the information booth of the mall while concessionaires were briefed on the security measures.

Gaisano Country Mall is on double red alert and has deployed more guards.

Since the start of the month, SM City has begun coordinating with the police on security measures due to the expected increase in the number of mall-goers in the coming months.

Ver de la Cerna, Cebu Holdings Inc. corporate communications manager, said the management of Ayala Center is asking the shoppers to bear with the security checks.

De la Cerna said the number of security guards at Ayala Center were doubled the other day to avert any untoward incidents and for the protection of shoppers.

A pillbox explosion at the upscale Glorietta Mall II of the Ayala Center in Makati City last Wednesday left at least 10 people, mostly teenagers, injured.

Herman Moises, Gaisano's chief security officer, said the management is fielding more guards. "We are exerting all efforts to ensure that our shoppers are safe," he said.

Shoemart, for its part, has detailed security guards inside and outside the mall and has been conducting a random inspection of shoppers, according to its public relations officer, Michell Lampinez.

Cebu City police officials have admitted that they are short of personnel to assist public recreation centers. Acting city police chief Melvin Gayotin said it is the primary responsibility of business establishments to ensure the security of their clients.

Gayotin said the Philippine National Police is at present involved in a lot of operations not only to counter possible rebel attacks but also to solve the upsurge of robberies in the city.

Despite the shortage of policemen, beat patrols and special police groups were ordered to monitor major shopping centers from time to time.

The Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has also intensified its monitoring of major entry points in Cebu, particularly seaports and the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

AYALA CENTER AYALA CENTER AND GAISANO COUNTRY MALL BINGO DINERO CEBU CITY CEBU HOLDINGS INC CERNA CITY CITY CEBU GAISANO COUNTRY MALL MAKATI CITY SECURITY
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