By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
All hands are on deck to ensure the safe and peaceful travel of millions of Filipinos flocking to the cemeteries this week, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) assured Tuesday.
However, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año still warned the public to be vigilant as the exodus of people to the provinces to observe All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day traditions may entice criminals to strike on November 1-2.
“Undas brings everyone together, even the criminals, which is why it is imperative that LGUs and DILG’s attached agencies such as the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) are activated and are put on heightened alert to secure the peaceful, orderly and safe observance of All Saints’ Day this year,” Año said in a statement.
He said he has directed local government units (LGUs) to call on their local peace and order councils and formulate a contingency plan on peace and order and public safety; mobilize and deploy law enforcers, barangay tanods, and medical personnel; and implement necessary measures towards its meaningful and peaceful observance.
Año said intensified visibility of law enforcers among public and private cemeteries, transport terminals, and local and national roads will prevent the entrance and exit of lawless forces within their jurisdiction.
Aside from the security measures, Año also urged the local government heads to lead the cemetery-goers, as well as passengers, in maintaining cleanliness in their areas.
Meanwhile, DILG Spokesman and Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya assured that the Department’s attached agencies are on “full-alert status” in line with the government’s call for a peaceful and safe observance of Undas this year.
He said that the PNP is committed to position some 30,000 police force to secure areas frequented by civilians such as malls, train stations, churches and cemeteries, especially since it will be a long weekend.
Malaya also reminds cemetery-goers to ensure that their homes are secured before going out to avoid possible cases of burglary.