The Philippine National Police (PNP) has inaugurated two additional sub-stations this week in barangays Mangnao and Buñao to further enhance the anti-crime campaign in the city.
The said sub-stations are in addition to the existing police sub-station already operating in Brgy. Cadawinonan.
Dumaguete City Chief of Police, Col. Gregorio Galsim, and Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office Director, Col. Raul M. Tacaca, emphasized that due to the continuous growth and development of the city, there is a need to establish additional police sub-stations in strategic locations to shorten the response time for assistance.
This is also to create choke points whenever crime incidents transpire in the adjacent cities and municipalities.
Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo is pushing for additional three police sub-stations in barangays Cantil-e and Camanjac and downtown area.
Two police outposts are also being constructed in both ends of the Rizal Boulevard to be manned by members of the Tourist Police.
The police sub-stations will complement the main City Police Station.
Police Sub-station 1, which is already operational, covers the area of Cadawinonan, Balugo, southern part of Candau-ay, northern part of Talay and northern part of Junob.
Sub-station 2 covers Banilad, Mangnao, Calindagan, Tabuc-tubig, and Bagacay.
Sub-station 3 will cover Bantayan, Piapi, Daro, Pulantubig, Looc, and Bunao, while Sub-station 4 will cover Camanjac, Batinguel, southern part of Candau-ay, and Motong.
Barangays Cantil-e, Bajumpandan, and southern part of Talay will be covered by Sub-station 5.
The downtown area, eight Poblacion barangays, and Taclobo will also be covered by Sub-station 6.
Ideally, each sub-station should have 15 personnel, one mobile patrol, and two motorcycle patrols.
To date, several philanthropists and stakeholders have expressed willingness to donate the required lot of at least 200 square meters and possibly to raise funds for the construction with the support from the city government.
Negros Oriental’s tourism industry continues to promote economic activity, however tourism stakeholders are advised to strengthen security measures to counter terrorism to safeguard and secure tourists and the locales.
Sr. Tourism Operations Officer Myla Abellana of the Provincial Tourism Unit (PTU) said to provide genuine public safety and awareness for tourism businesses, both the Tourist Police Unit and PTU joined hands to conduct the basic security procedures to prevent any terroristic attacks that may cause serious problem in the province
“Indeed, safety is a pre-requisite for the success of the tourism industry, and the mere threat of events can cause tourists to rethink their decision to visit a destination,” said Abellana.
“To boost the security efforts in the tourism industry, Tourist Police Chief PMaj Varie Villanonos said “we’ll harden the preventive security measures with strong coordination and cooperation establishments concerns.”
However, Villanobos said that pension houses and even hotels and resorts are areas where selling of illegal drugs occur or crime incidents happen.
Thus, the police officer asked that CCTV should be in place in case the cooperation of the managements is needed to counter illegal activities.
“There [have been] many incidents of crimes: on illegal drugs mostly committed inside hotels and resorts where the transaction can quickly transpire to effect the change of illegal items,” he added.
So far, the police unit has established eight existing Tourist Police Assistance Desks (TPADs) in the province which include Canibol Port in Bais City, San Jose Port, Sibulan Port, Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport, Dumaguete City Port, Rizal Boulevard-Perdices Streets, Malatapay, Zamboanguita, and Apo Island.
These are priority areas of convergence of tourists or tourist destinations, police authorities explained.
In 2018, tourist influx in the province reached to 883,295 compared to 2017’s 869,774.
Villanobos said, the deployment of Tourist Police personnel to TPADs allows them high police presence and visibility, by beat and bike patrolling.
The creation of various TPADs with tangible police presence at different areas of tourist convergence contributed to a decrease of crime incidents, added Villanobos.
For his part, SWAT Team Member PCMS Anthony Sun also advised organizers of concerts, beauty pageant events, festivals and the like to have security plan to include guarding against bomb threats and possible terror attacks.
“The event organizers should consider providing parking space as a priority, because ruthless elements may use some improvised explosives device in a vehicle, since we do not have mobile x-ray,” said Sun
The event area should require one entrance but need more exits for safety.
Authorities also raised the concern about bomb jokes and threats: these will only cause unnecessary inconvenience and panic to people.
With this, the authorities reminded the public: any bomb joke would be met with dire consequences.
Under Presidential Decree 1727, also known as the anti-bomb joke law, it declares as unlawful, the malicious dissemination of false information or the willful making of any threat concerning bombs, explosives, or any similar device or means of destruction.
Those found guilty of the crime will face imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine of not more P40,000 or both at the discretion of the court.
Soldiers of the 11th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army returned to Negros Oriental after two years of deployment in Zamboanga City.
A welcome ceremony for them was held yesterday morning at the Dumaguete Port as the soldiers aboard the BRP Tarlac of the Philippine Navy arrived in this city port.
Local officials led by Gov. Roel Degamo and members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) greeted the returning government troops.
“The Province of Negros Oriental had waited for this moment to finally come since the announcement of President Duterte a year ago. This is a welcome development for all of us all here,” Gov. Degamo said in his speech.
Present also during the welcome ceremony is MGEN. Dinoh Dolina, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
In his message, MGEN. Dolina congratulated the 11th IB soldiers for successfully carrying out their mission in Mindanao and told them that as their division commander, he is proud to have them back in Negros Island.
“You will once again be fighting an enemy in an environment you are familiar with. Negros Island, as you all know is still plagued by the presence of communist-terrorist group. Though they may be fewer in number now comparing few years ago when you left, they are still an inconvenience to the people and a hindrance to the progress of the island,” Maj. Dolina said.
“I expect you to show these local terrorists that you are now wiser, deadlier, and more dedicated than when you left. I expect you to immediately remind our enemies that the 11th IB is here for a serious business,” MGEN. Dolina added.
In an interview with the members of the local media, BGEN. Ignacio Madriaga, commanding officer of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army disclosed the marching order for the 11th IB is to improve the peace and order situation and usher in the development in partnership with the local government unit in Negros Oriental.
“Hanggang barangay level yan makikipagtulungan tayo. Iyon naman ang role ng Philippine Army is to partner with everyone na may stake sa peace. We will be a strong partner of everyone who wants to bring peace and development sa Negros Oriental (We will cooperate down to the barangay level. The role of the Philippine Army is partner every stakeholder in peace. We will be a strong partner of everyone who wants to bring peace and development in Negros Oriental),” BGEN. Madriaga elaborated.
When asked on the area of deployment for the11th IB troops, Madriaga’s response was:
“Magkakaroon tayo ng reassessment kung saan talaga magkakaroon ng impact and deployment ng forces natin to ensure iyong success ng operation. Iyon ang magiging basis of deployment (We will have a reassessment. We will put them in areas we think our forces could leave a great impact and ensure success of operation. That will be the basis of deployment).”
However, Capt. Cenon Pancito III, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the 3rd ID, gave hints that the 11th IB will be deployed in the southern part of the province noting that the 94th IB has been directed to go to Guihulngan City.
BGEN. Madriaga also cited that 11th IB soldiers will have a short training-orientation to refresh them on the current peace and order situation in the province and the status of the military peace campaign.
On the other hand, the 302nd Brigade Commander clarified that the return of 11th IB soldiers to Negros Oriental does not mean that the military will go on an offensive track to eradicate insurgency problems in the province.
BGEN. Madriaga pointed out that the insurgency problem in Negros Oriental is “grievance based” noting that insurgents are thriving by manipulating the discontent or grievances of people living in the hinterlands.
“Maraming klase iyan. Normally, socio-economic iyong concerns na yan. Ang gagawin natin, sabi nga ni Governor (Roel Degamo), it’s not guns and bullets. We will result to dialogue. Mga localized peace talks and we will bring iyong concern agencies to solve iyong mga issue and grievance na kino-confront ng mga tao natin. (Normally, it’s socio-economic issues but there are other kinds. What we will do, just like what Governor Roel Degamo said, it’s not guns and bullets. We will result to dialogue and localized peace talks. We will bring the concerned agencies and let them address the issues and grievances of the people),” BGEN. Madriaga explained.
With the return of the 11th IB, Negros Oriental will now have two separate battalions to maintain the peace and order situation in the province.
With this development, the Philippine Army is looking forward for Negros Oriental to be declared as insurgency free.
“Mao pod ning among pangandoy na unta sa short period of time ma-declare nato. We are looking forward kasi very supportive naman ang local government unit sa Negros Oriental. Mao nang optimistic kami (It has been our dream and our goal that the province be declared insurgency free in a short period of time. We are looking forward to it because local government units are very supportive. We are optimistic about it),” Capt. Pancito said.
Capt. Pancito also revealed that the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army is also directed to transfer in Negros Oriental with this month.