By: Apple Ta-as, Jose Santino S. Bunachita, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag July 18,2015 - 12:21 AM

New PNP chief  upbeat about APEC hosting; says only ‘fine-tuning’ needed

Only “fine-tuning” is needed for Cebu’s preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) meetings here, said newly installed police chief Director General  Ricardo Marquez yesterday.

One day after taking his oath as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Marquez was in Cebu City to keep an earlier promise to be a lecturer in a contingency seminar for APEC.

It was his first visit to a regional police unit outside Manila.

“Pinagplanohan ito ng matagal at alam natin na malawak na ang karanasan ng Cebu in terms of hosting international events kaya naniniwala ako na kayang-kaya natin to(We spent time planning for this and we know that Cebu has wide experience in hosting international events so I believe that we are very well handle this one),” Marquez told reporters after speaking to more than 200 participants of the seminar held at Hotel Elizabeth.

The first of a series of high-level meetings APEC starts on Aug. 23.

An earlier international event that requires close coordination is the Cobra Ironman 70.3 on August 2, whose race courses will use public roads in cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mactan and Cebu.

With a month to go before the start of the APEC meetings, grave concerns arise over traffic bottlenecks in Metro Cebu due to simultaneous road-repair projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), especially in Mandaue City.
(See Siloy is Watching Mandaue Roads on page 10)

Snail-paced traffic is also experienced in Cebu City and parts of Lapu-Lapu City.

A dry run for a rerouting plan for passenger jeepneys in Cebu City was scheduled yesterday, but was reset  due  to the Eid al-Fitr holiday, confirmed Rafael Yap, executive director of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) last night in an interview.

Under the scheme approved by the Citom board last month, no jeepneys will be allowed to  traverse the Pope John II Avenue from end to end – Archbishop Reyes Avenue to S. Osmeña Road in the North Reclamation Area.

This will be implemented from 6 a.m. to  9 a.m. and from  3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  from August to  September for the duration of the APEC meetings.

No date for the dry run has been announced yet.

Marquez yesterday said the security preparations laid out by the Task Group Cebu for APEC 2015 needs “fine-tuning and some adjustments.”

He said simulation exercises should be made 10 days ahead.

Marquez met with various Cebu agencies in relation to  security preparations for the international event as he heads the National Joint Task Force for APEC 2015.

He cited as an example  a simulation exercise on the impact of a big typhoon or an earthquake.

“In the simulation exercise, you will see the response of various agencies involved, if they have the necessary equipment, or if possible road closure can be implemented,” said Marquez.

He said the task group is not focusing on a particular threat but since August can bring typhoons they are preparing for possible natural calamities and have to consider, for example, how to handle traffic.

The seminar was attended by representatives of the Cebu provincial government, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Finance (DOF).

Also present were Brig.  General Rodolfo Santiago from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Command and General Staff College, and regional director Jesus Leonardo Auxilio of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency-Central Visayas.

“Dapat paghandaan dahil ang lahat ng mata ng international community nakatingin sa atin (We should be prepared as the eyes of the international community are on us),” he said.

He added the brand of hospitality that Filipinos are known for will help ensure delegates and tourists will come back for another visit.

Marquez also went to Camp Sergio Osmeña to award police personnel for their successful anti-illegal drug operation in Calamba town.  He repeated his marching orders to intensify police visibility to deter crime.

“We are just blessed that after his appointment and installation as the chief PNP, I talked to him and asked if tuloy yung lakad (seminar) and he also took the chance to talk to our men to motivate them,” said Chief Supt. Prudencio Bañas, police regional director of Central Visayas.

Yesterday’s training seminar was scheduled before Marquez’s appointment as the new PNP chief.

In his speech at Camp Sergio Osmeña, Marquez said he will have someone review disciplinary actions involving policemen especially those involved in illegal drugs.

If they are not corrected, he said, these erring policemen may just think that what they are doing is acceptable.

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TAGS: ‘CEBU CAN DO THIS’, APEC, APEC 2015, Asia-Pacific Economic Forum, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Traffic Operations Management, Citom, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Public Works and Highways, DOF, DPWH, lapu-lapu, Mactan, mandaue, Mandaue City, Philippine National Police, PNP

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