Cebu ports ready for Holy Week crowd

04/12/2011 -CEBU CITY, Philippines – A port official Tuesday said security measures are already in place at various sea ports in Cebu City in preparation for the volume of people going home to the provinces during the Holy Week.

Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) Security Chief Col. Oscar Lopez said security measures have been mapped out since last week in preparation for next week's expected bulk of passengers.

“We have done site assessment and we will be fielding additional personnel in areas that are considered hot spots,” said Lopez during the weekly 888 News Forum at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel last Tuesday.

He said starting Monday next week, they will be putting up more X-ray machines, detailing K9 dogs, and additional moving personnel to patrol the entire port area 24 hours a day. There will also be small crafts patrolling waters within the ports’ vicinity.

“It can't be denied that for terrorists, the port is a hot spot because passengers can either be targets or threat,” said Lopez.

Aside from security, the CPA will also be putting up medical desks and standby ambulances for passengers needing immediate medical attention. An evacuation center within the port area has also been identified for emergency cases.

Other law enforcement agencies in Cebu are expected to be in heightened alert during the Holy Week with more personnel deployed in areas where people are likely to converge like bus terminals, seaports, resorts and pilgrimage sites.

The provincial police office will deploy more men in Bantayan Island and other critical areas to maintain peace and order, said newly-appointed Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Patrocinio Comendador.

Comendador said Task Force Semana Santa will be reactivated to maintain peace and order in Cebu towns during Christianity's holiest period of the year.

Bantayan island, which will celebrate its annual fiesta, and Minglanilla – the “Sugat Capital” in Cebu- are among those to be provided with tight security, said Comendador.

“We have to anticipate the worst scenario,” he said.

Superintendent Teofilo Siclot, CPPO Deputy Provincial Director for Operations, will supervise the task force. (Manila Bulletin)

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