PRO-6 states readiness for Boracay re-opening
Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman) - September 27, 2018 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Like during Boracay’s heydays, the police said it is ready to secure the island when it reopens to the public on October 26.

 

Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, director of the Police Regional Office-6 (Western Visayas), assured stakeholders that more than 600 policemen --- from local and support units --- were trained to reposts to Boracay Island’s needs and challenges.

The Metro Boracay Police Task Force, under Senior Superintendent Jesus Cambay Jr., for its part, has already mapped out security preparations, after various trainings such as first responders course, tourist oriented policing for community order and protection (TOPCOP), explosives ordnance reconnaissance agent, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) proficiency.

The MBPTF men also underwent personnel/leadership development course, digital literacy, driving course, lifeguard training, and communications skills enhancement workshop, among others. They also took simulation exercises in anticipation of various possible emergency scenarios.

Equipage was also improved with the addition of three patrol boats under the Regional Maritime Unit, then upgraded the explosives ordnance division (EOD) and K9 team, and enhanced its communication system.

Boracay Island being the center of Western Visayas tourism had been generating an average of 30,000 tourist arrivals per day and had in the past posted P56 billion in yearly tourism revenues.

Of the 112,500 population of Malay town, 90,000 reside in Boracay, far more than the 29,500 population of mainland Malay.

Bulalacao continued the program of his predecessor, Chief Supt. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, which was the restructuring of the Malay Police Station, involving the transfer of 389 policemen from the town proper to Boracay.

The restructuring is also the downgrading of the Malay Municipal Police Station into a Community Police Action Center (COMPAC), more of which will also be opened in strategic locations within the island.

In collaboration with other government  agencies, the PRO-6 conducted dialogues with business owners and security providers to ensure that the security needs of the various business establishments are adequately provided, and to thresh out possible glitches due to the influx of tourists.

Bulalacao emphasized that border control shall remain in place to dispel possible intrusion of threat groups and criminal elements.  

Other measures now pending are the approval of Special Land Use for the establishment of sub-stations within the island, approval of Capability Enhancement Budget for the procurement of additional equipage, and the construction of more billeting facilities for police personnel.

JOHN BULALACAO
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