By Chito Chavez
A few days before the observance of “Undas”, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) asked the local government units (LGUs) and its attached agencies to place “all hands on deck” to ensure the peaceful and safe conduct of the annual tradition for the departed.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said the influx of millions trooping to the provinces and to the cemeteries to observe the yearly Undas tradition may entice lawbreakers to commit crimes.
With this probability, Año said the LGUs and the DILG’s attached agencies should be proactive and vigilant to thwart any lawless incidents.
Año stressed the observance of 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.
Año also directed the LGUs to convene their local peace and order councils (LPOCs) to formulate a contingency plan on peace and order and public safety; mobilize and deploy law enforcers, barangay tanods, and medical personnel; maintain the cleanliness of cemeteries and public places before, during and after Undas; and implement necessary measures towards its meaningful and peaceful observance.
The DILG chief has also encouraged the deployment of barangay tanods and law enforcers in vicinities of public and private cemeteries and memorial parks; local and national roads for intensified visibility and for traffic management; and in critical areas to prevent the entrance and exit of lawless forces within their jurisdiction.
All hands on deck
DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan E. Malaya said that DILG’s attached agencies are on full-alert status in support of the Department’s call for a peaceful and safe observance of Undas 2019.
Malaya noted the PNP was committed to position its 30,000 police force to secure areas frequented by civilians such as malls, LRT and MRT stations, churches and the cemeteries.
Road safety marshals will be deployed in areas along the routes to and from cemeteries and other areas of convergence, together with an intensified coordination with the LGUs, concerned government agencies and radio groups to address traffic congestion.
Malaya also reminded civilians to ensure that their homes are secured before they go to the cemeteries to pay respect to their departed loved ones to avoid possible cases of burglary “for despite active security patrols in residential areas to prevent akyat-bahay incidents, securing their homes before living is always the first line of defense.”
Conduct of random mobile checkpoints in accordance with the PNP Operational Procedures will also be implemented.