The Philippine National Police’s “Iwas Paputok” saw waning firecracker tradition during the Christmas season up to the week towards the New Year’s revelries.
Sr. Insp. Eraño Regidor, deputy chief of police of Tagbilaran City, attributed this to the caravan parade they conducted where the police teams go around the city, announcing on megaphone some reminders to the people to avoid firecrackers.
They also remind those inclined to use firearms to create noise to create festive mode on Christmas eve and as a way to meet the new year to refrain from using their firearms.
Regidor said that in morning of December 24, the city police team met the stakeholders, the Barangay peace-keeping action team (BPAT), and barangay officials regarding the conduct of the caravan parade.
He said the campaign must have been effective as there had been no record of incident on irresponsible firecracker display and indiscriminate firing on Christmas eve.
“Oplan Iwas Paputok” was implemented along with “Oplan Bulabog” where the police team, together with the BPAT, conducted mobile patrol to monitor any fireworks display along the roads and areas of public convergence.
Regidor said there had been no major violation, except that they had intercepted six minors at dawn on December 25, playing an improvised canon locally known as “lantaka”.
He said that even the records at the hospitals show that there had been no report of any injury from firecrackers.
Regidor, however, admitted that the police team is aware that there are those who managed to avoid the mobile patrol when they would temporarily stop their fireworks display along the road upon sensing the police patrol coming.
On this, Regidor said it is best to make sure the firecrackers they use are safe to avoid accidents.
Also in relation to “Ligtas Pantalan”, the city police team conducted a checkpoint at Pook Pantalan to monitor individuals coming and out of the port area.
This was conducted in coordination with the Philippine Ports Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard, to intercept wanted persons.
Regidor also said that the police visibility they had established in remote areas had been effective in deterring burglary as there had been no incident reported on the night of December 24.
The city police also deployed personnel to provide security 24 hours in the vicinities of churches where the Catholic faithful trooped for the last dawn mass.