By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is willing to help address the problem of bullying in schools as part of the preparation for the school opening on Monday.
Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
But PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said that was quick to clarify that police intervention on bullying cases only comes with the go-signal from school authorities.
"We cannot just go inside any school. There must be coordination with school authorities," said Albayalde.
At least 120,000 policemen will be deployed for the class opening for public schools on June 3, where millions of students are expected to troop back to elementary and high schools.
Among the security plans is to set up police assistance desks in every schools and securing roads leading to and from the schools, especially in areas where clusters of school are present such as the University Belt.
Police are expected to stay until the opening of classes for private schools.
"Upon invitations by school authorities, the PNP may conduct inspection of dormitories and schools," Albayalde said.
"Other police efforts are establishing task units to address bullying in schools, intelligence and information gathering against kidnappings in schools, presence of improvised explosive devices, and other efforts against threats as feared by the public," he added.
As the policemen's presence will only be limited outside school premises, the cops will be focusing on bullies outside schools, or out-of-school youth preying on regular students.
Albayalde said they will also keep an eye on street criminals such as snatchers, robbers, and even drug dealers.