After securing the recent mid-term elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has shifted its focus on preparations for the school opening on June 3.
PNP Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said 120,000 policemen will be deployed to ensure the safety of students across the country.
“We will be setting up police assistance desks and we will be deploying 120,000 of our people for this Ligtas Balik-Eskuwela program,” Albayalde said in press briefing held at Camp Crame on Monday.
He said he issued a memorandum order directing all PNP regional offices and national support units to perform “specific tasks” and coordinate instructions to implement the nationwide security and public safety plan.
He said the operational guidelines he issued for “Ligtas Balik-Eskwela 2019” also aims to “ensure the availability and operational readiness of PNP units, personnel and resources for security and public safety operations in support of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).”
Abayalde said some 29 million students in various grade levels are expected to troop to schools for the simultaneous opening of classes in both public and private learning institutions.
“In our security and operational thrusts, our guidelines for this year’s Ligtas Balik-Eskwela ensure the operational readiness of police units in responding to peace and order concerns, including threats from criminal elements that may take advantage of the situation,” he said.
Albayalde said police personnel are expected to conduct patrols in the schools’ vicinity and would be on the lookout for drug traffickers, muggers, and violent street gangs who may infiltrate the ranks of students.
The local PNP units, he added, have been instructed to coordinate closely with school administrators and officials of DepEd and CHED for the implementation of safety and security measures in different school campuses.
In coordination with local government units, the transportation department, and the Metro Manila Development Authority, the National Capital Region Police Office will assume traffic management operations in the vicinity of schools, particularly along the University Belt in Manila, Albayalde said.
He said similar security measures will be implemented in seaports, airports, and land transport terminals, in anticipation of the heavy volume of incoming passengers from the provinces, mostly students returning from summer vacation. (PNA)