The Bohol police force is on heightened alert for the entire stretch of the Christmas season and the New Year revelry, adopting the usual three-tierred security measures.
Police Provincial Director Felipe Natividad explained that this time is different as the province had once been shaken by the Abu Sayyaf group in the early part of the year.
The police force is also implementing measures that would pre-empt any activity related to the anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA), considering that some areas in Bohol had been the rebel group’s stronghold.
The Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) launched the heightened alert in time of the start of the nine-morning Misa de Gallo.
The police force set up help desks at the malls, ports and terminals on regular work hours, while personnel have also been deployed to the vicinities of Catholic churches at dawn as the Catholic faithful would flock to churches for the dawn masses towards the Christmas eve for the traditional Misa de Gallo.
The BPPO maintains the three-tierred approach for crowd security wherein the first level targets for monitoring are the robbery gangs, shoplifters and terrorists.
Detection of explosive devices is the most complicated in the three-tierred approach.
The BPPO already increased police presence to pre-empt crimes upon the increase of the influx of people in public places like malls, churches, plaza that demands heightened security.
Seaports and the airport in Bohol have been under tight security throughout the year..
The BPPO continues to call on the public to help the intelligence gathering of the police by immediately reporting any suspicious individuals in their neighborhood.
The 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army also complements the Philippine National Police in the implementation of the security measures during the Yuletide season.
The BPPO had also coordinated with the local government units (LGUs) in identifying designated areas for the stalls of firecracker vendors as well as for firecracker display during the Christmas and New Year revelries.
The Provincial Health Office (PHO) for its part, assured the public that province-run hospitals and the lone DOH-run Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) have been on Code White alert at the start of the Misa de Gallo and onwards to the first week of January.
Under the Code White Alert, all hospital personnel “are on standby for deployment and reinforcement for medical and other services when necessary”, based on the Department of Health standards.
This is to ensure prompt and efficient hospital attention on all type s of patients.
The DOH also urged private hospitals to complement the DOH-run and other public hospitals in the code white alert status.
He advised hospital administrators to check the supplies at the operating room and make sure there are enough.