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Fewer cops to secure IEC

Ma. Fatima R. Secuya/FPL (The Freeman) - November 25, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Fewer police personnel will be deployed for the International Eucharistic Congress next year compared during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings last August and October.

Police Regional Office-7 director Chief Superintendent Prudencio Tom Bañas explained that this is because the delegates to the APEC meetings were considered high level compared to the IEC.

“The number of police personnel won’t be that big (in IEC), kasi yung level ng delegates hindi naman katulad ng mga ministers or deputy ministers (in APEC),” Bañas said.

 There are around 12,000 to 15,000 delegates expected to attend the 51st IEC in January next year. The number of delegates is bigger compared to the 3,200 delegates during the APEC meetings.

But despite the larger crowd expected to join the celebration, Bañas believes that it does not require so much number of security personnel. Except for the six papal nuncios and 20 cardinals that are expected to come to Cebu for the IEC, the other delegates are not considered high level delegates.

There were about 6,000 security personnel deployed during the APEC meetings, including those from the Bureau of Fire, Armed Forces of Philippines and other special units from Manila.

Bañas, however, could not give the number of policemen needed for the IEC yet pending the security assessment meeting.

 “We still have to come up with the numbers, kay if pavilion lang ang mass, then not much. But I think they have plan to conduct mass sa different areas, then makakaapekto talaga siya (to the number of personnel to be deployed),” said Bañas.

Bañas said they will also have to consider the budget for the security preparations especially for the meals of the police personnel. He admitted that they still have to figure out where to source out the funds needed for the security preparations because it was not included in the Philippine National Police budget.

“Though, they’re (IEC organizers) trying to work out how to come up with a budget in support of this IEC,” said Bañas.

He said the IEC organizers informed him that they already wrote to President Benigno Aquino III requesting to have the same kind of organizational set up in the APEC in so far as security is concerned for the IEC.

“I told them that if this is approved and an administrative order will be issued by Malacañang, then we’ll be more than willing to support it. I also informed them that just like APEC, there was a separate budget that the government set aside for this purpose,” Bañas added.

Bañas said the IEC organizers could also ask assistance from the local governments.

“Di lang naman to activity ng simbahan but the government will also be involved,” said Bañas. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ARMED FORCES OF PHILIPPINES ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ATILDE AUGUST AND OCTOBER BUREAU OF FIRE BUT I CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT PRUDENCIO TOM BA DELEGATES IEC PLUSMN
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