Travelers told: Stay safe
Stay at home, or if you insist on traveling, don’t post your whereabouts online. Also verify every “advisory” and “alert” you read in social media.
These were some of the tips given by Cebu City officials to city residents who will join thousands of Metro Cebu residents in heading to the province and outside Cebu for the four-day Holy Week break which starts today.
Cebu City officials met with representatives of the Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Operators Inc. (PADPAO) at 11 a.m. yesterday to require their security guards to man closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTVs) to help monitor the streets and roads.
Nagiel Bañacia, who heads the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC), said there are 30,000 security guards in Cebu City who can help the police watch for suspicious-looking characters through their security cameras.
“They are the front-line in peace and order in emergencies in the city,” Bañacia said.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak said residents can report suspicious-looking characters to the Cebu City Command Control Center.
Police personnel were assigned to coastal areas such as Barangays Inayawan, Mambaling, and Ermita to watch out for Abu Sayyaf in light of last Tuesdays firefight between the bandits and government troops in Inabanga town, Bohol province.
Bañacia advised Cebu City residents to have “staycations” (vacation without travel) rather than risk their safety through out of town trips.
He said people should resist from posting their whereabouts online if they proceed with their out-of-town trips to avoid tipping off burglars.
Bañacia also called on the public not to believe and spread advisories in social media without verifying them first.
In the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, police said they have set up security checks in the bus terminals, seaports and at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to ensure the safety of travelers.
Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas, Mandaue City police chief, made a final inspection of the Cebu North Bus Terminal and Looc Wharf yesterday morning.
About three to four motorized passenger boats sail from Looc Wharf to Pitogo town in Bohol province daily.
Alanas said leaflets and posters with police hotline numbers were posted in prominent areas as reminders for the passengers.
At the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT), manager Joey Herrera said they expect 33,000 to 35,000 south-bound passengers from Wednesday to Saturday this week.
Herrera said most of the foreign tourists are traveling to the southern towns of Moalboal, Badian, and Oslob.
CSBT security operations head Jonathan Tumulak said security had been raised in light of the Inabanga incident.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said they expect more passengers to troop to the terminal after lunch since most government offices are on half-day.
Julito Flores, president of the Cebu South Mini Bus Operators, said only 30 percent or 45 of 150 minibuses will be operating tomorrow afternoon.
Flores said regular bus operations will resume on Saturday.
In Lapu-Lapu City, acting Vice Mayor Harry Don Radaza said the city government reminded barangay officials to help the police monitor their areas.
In Toledo City, port operation officer James Cerelo said passenger vessels can accept passengers as early as 3 a.m. with the last trip at 9 p.m.
Supt. Samuel Mina Jr., Toledo City police chief, said he ordered his personnel to keep watch on their areas of jurisdiction especially in coastal areas./CNU Intern Sheen Michael Manigo
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