Around 500 policemen from the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) are set to be deployed in key areas during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit meetings on trade and economic concerns in the province on April 18 to 22.
According to BPPO spokesperson Sr. Insp. Vincent Paul Dumaguing, police officials on Tuesday conducted an orientation on procedures to secure around 200 ASEAN delegates and on assigned locations for police personnel.
Simulation exercises are also set to be carried out to better prepare the BPPOâ€™s forces in responding to various scenarios during the five-day event, but the activity has not yet been greenlit by the ASEAN National Organizing Committee, said Dumaguing.
Bomb-sniffing dogs from the Philippine National Police Maritime Group and Philippine Coast Guardâ€™s K9 units will also be deployed.
However, Dumaguing said that additional police forces from Cebu are needed to further tighten security in the province particularly in handling cases involving explosives as the BPPO does not have an explosive ordnance disposal unit.
In recent weeks, the Police Regional Office-7 under Chief Supt. Noli TaliÃ±o who is the overall task group commander for ministerial meetings of the ASEAN Summit in Bohol and Cebu has been beefing up security with around 5,000 policemen and emergency responders including firemen set to be deployed during the weeks-long event in Central Visayas.
The meetings in Bohol and Cebu are among 120 ministerial, senior official and technical working group meetings which will be conducted throughout the year.
ConferencesÂ in Bohol will include the AHKFTA (Free Trade Agreement between ASEAN and Hong Kong) Trade Negotiating Committee and Related Meetings, according to the schedule of yearlong activities released by the ASEAN.
The 30th ASEAN Summit will be on April 26 to 29 in Metro Manila with the major summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on the last day.
As the chair of ASEAN Summit 2017, which coincides with the 10-nation blocâ€™s 50th year anniversary, the Philippines will also host the 31st ASEAN SummitÂ on November 10 to 14 in Clark, Pampanga. (Rey Tutas)