Peace and order should be a top priority for the next provincial administration amid the continued economic growth of the province, said a Capitol official who acknowledged that development could entail a rise in criminality.
“In the area of peace and order, mao gihapon unta na ang mandate na i-carry sa next na administration…Sa issue about public security, sa issue about potential crimes—because kung ang usa ka lugar tan-awon nimo na dunay development, mo kuyog ana all forms of criminality,” said Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio.
Damalerio partly ascribed Bohol’s progress to “peace and security” which has drawn businesses to invest in the province.
“Kinsa may ganahan mo-invest diri sa Bohol kung disturbed ang atong kahusay,” he said.
Damalerio also cited the opening of the Bohol Panglao International Airport, which has been projected to drastically spur growth and draw more visitors to the province, as among driving factors to strengthen security measures.
He noted that around 2.9 million people are expected to enter the province annually based on estimated arrivals at the airport and seaports in the forthcoming years.
“So in terms of carrying capacity na mo-anhi sa Bohol plus ang atong mga residente pa diri sa Bohol, mao na [security] ang dakong challenge nato,” he said.
Damalerio, who spoke during the “Ulat sa Bayan 2018” of Bohol Police Provincial Office director Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga, Jr., expressed confidence that law enforcement agencies particularly the police will be able to meet the challenges brought by economic development.
In 2017, Bohol was rocked with a terror threat as 11 Abu Sayyaf bandits slipped into the province causing havoc and leading to month-long manhunt operations by state security forces which ended in the obliteration of the militant group.
Damlerio admitted that the incident posed as a setback for Bohol’s state of security but noted that the province was able to bounce back and quickly regain its status as a peaceful island.
“We were confronted with a lot of challenges pertaining to security especially with the incursion of the Abu Sayyaf almost two years ago, but because of the dynamism and the resiliency of the Boholanos we were able to fight and combat terrorism,” he said.
Since then, Bohol has been cleared of terror threats and while sporadic alleged sightings of unidentified armed groups have been reported, the province continued to be considered insurgency-free by the military. (R. Tutas)