April 15, 2024

■  Hanna C. Lacsamana

Over 1,100 police personnel and volunteers have been deployed around Baguio City as part of the intensified efforts to maintain peace, order, and security of residents and visitors during the Holy Week.

The Holy Week has been set from March 25 to 31, where as in the previous years, thousands of tourists are expected to flock the summer capital for the period towards the summer.

Baguio City Police Office Operations Chief Lt/Col. Domingo Gambican said 633 police personnel, including traffic officers, have already been deployed to man the Holy Week and summer vacation activities in coordination with concerned agencies and groups.

He said at least 500 members of different volunteer groups are working with the police in rendering assistance for medical emergencies and evacuation, motorist assistance, and to serve as force multipliers in areas of the city that require police presence.

The intensified security deployment started on March 23, in anticipation of the large volume of visitors coming up towards the end of the week.

“As to traffic, which is really a problem during the season of tourists, we added traffic police in the streets not only in the central business district but also in the outskirts like those towards tourist spots,” Gambican said during a March 20 media briefing.

More personnel are also assigned to keep perennial chokepoints and intersections open to avoid congestion of vehicles and gridlock in these areas.

Aside from tourist spots, police presence and volunteer assistance are expected in all places of convergence like bus terminals, places of worship, big establishments, and other places frequented during Holy Week.

Gambican said this year’s personnel deployment also takes into consideration the high number of vehicular accidents last year.

“One of the observations last year is maraming vehicular traffic accidents. One of those being addressed through personnel deployment is this, so for the Holy Week, maglalagay tayo ng mga tao including medical units to monitor, so that if there would be incidents, they can respond immediately, as well as to those who need assistance,” he said.

Aside from volunteers, barangay officials and tanods especially in barangays that host tourist spots such as Mines View, Pacdal, Dominican Hill, and Tam-awan have also been active in addressing the traffic and other concerns brought by tourist influx in their area.

Gambican appealed to motorists and the public to follow traffic and parking rules, as well as other regulations being implemented in the city. – Hanna C. Lacsamana