PNP's 'Oplan SumVac 2012' goes into high gear

March 27, 2012 1:13 am 

By Priam F. Nepomuceno

MANILA, March 26 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has announced that its nationwide security plan to ensure the protection of thousands of students and vacationers who will be going to the provinces this Lenten Season and summer vacation is now underway.

Dubbed the "PNP Oplan SumVac 2012," its full-scale operation is in anticipation of the heavy volume of outbound motorist and commuter traffic ahead of the Holy Week exodus of people from the Metro Manila area to the provinces next week.

Transportation officials estimate at least 30 to 40 percent increase in commuter traffic by land, air and sea transportation during the Holy Week.

The nationwide law enforcement and public safety plan also covers the entire two-and-half-month vacation season that began at the closing of the school year in the last week of March, peaking in the Holy Week in April and extending through the fiesta and Flores de Mayo celebrations in May until the opening of classes in June.

According to PNP chief Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome, Oplan SumVac aims to promote travel safety among motorists and commuters, as well as both local and foreign tourists who will take advantage of the summer season to visit the country’s tourist destinations.

The operation include mandatory security checks at airports, seaports and bus terminals to guard against criminal and terrorist elements that may take advantage of the holiday rush.

Bartolome instructed PNP Unit commanders to put up police assistance centers (PAC) in strategic locations along national highways, primarily along the entire stretch of the Maharlika Highway from North to South Luzon, the Manila South Road from Manila to Bicol, the Manila East Road from Eastern Metro Manila to Northern Quezon, the Strong Republic Nautical Highway that passes through island provinces in Visayas and Mindanao, and other major thoroughfares nationwide.

The Highway Patrol Group and Regional Police Offices will spearhead road safety operations in these areas.

PACs will serve as quick-reaction points for police emergency and medical response, and advance command post for traffic management and road security operations.

All PACs are linked with Patrol 117 nationwide emergency telephone hotline, and the TXT PNP 2920 SMS hotline, according to PNP spokesman, Chief Supt. Agrimero A. Cruz Jr.

In coastal resort areas, the Maritime Group and local PNP units have been tasked to conduct seaborne patrols and other police security functions to assist in enforcing maritime laws and local ordinances that impose safety regulations in the operation of interisland vessels and motorized boats that ferry passengers across bodies of water.

In Metro Manila, Oplan Bantay-Lakbay will be spearheaded by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in coordination with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units (LGUs).

Police stations in Metro Manila and other urban centers are tasked to conduct preventive patrols and neighborhood watch to guard against criminal elements that may take advantage of unattended residences.

At the same time, all commercial/business establishments, shopping malls, places of worship, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines and other vital installations will be placed under intensive security coverage.

While the PNP is preoccupied with public safety operations for the entire summer vacation season, the PNP chief assured intensified police operations will continue against street crime syndicates, especially those involving riding-in-tandem suspects.

“We need to sustain the momentum of our successful police operations against riding-in-tandem suspects, especially now that we are on a winning streak against street crimes,” Bartolome said. (PNA) DCT/scs/PFN

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