by Jimmy K. Laking
Owners of boarding houses that have mushroomed in La Trinidad can help reduce crime by maintaining logbooks to record visitors or individuals posing as relatives of boarders.
This was underscored last week by Benguet Police Director Rodolfo S. Azurin who told participants of an enhancement training of the barangay peacekeeping action teams (BPATs) “that with less than 70 days before the year ends, robbery and theft cases are likely to rise with boarding houses as primary targets.”
He said statistics showed that 50 percent of the theft and robbery cases in Benguet are occurring in La Trinidad and the victims are mostly students or wage earners living in boarding houses.
“This certainly does not present a good image for the province of Benguet,” he said, adding that a logbook can help record the entry of individuals purporting to visit boarders.
He said the logbooks should also record the names of boarders that the individuals are supposed to visit.
He said one difficulty faced in asking owners of boarding houses to comply is that many of the so-called boarding houses have no permits to operate.
“Hence the rules and regulations in these establishments are beyond the control of policemen,” he said.
He said statistics further showed most of the boarding houses and apartments are located in barangays Balili, Betag, Poblacion, and Pico.
At the same time, he warned residents to be vigilant against individuals posing as fire inspectors in order to gain entry to residences.
“They should be in uniform,” he said. “If not, then barangay officials should be notified at once about their presence.”
S/Supt. Joseph C. Adnol, a former police chief of La Trinidad, said the BPATs are comprised of volunteers who will help ensure the presence of policemen or peacekeepers in the community.
“The BPAT is not a misnomer for barangay tanod but applies to all community volunteers who maybe teachers, business persons, farmers, and other people who can find time to help in peacekeeping efforts,” he said.