The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced Tuesday it will increase police visibility at the vicinity of all known nightspots in Metro Manila in anticipation of influx of visitors as the country hosts the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
NCRPO director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said intensifying the security measures in nightspot areas was among those discussed in the past security meetings for SEAG that will be held from November 30 to December 11.
“We are anticipating this scenario (influx of visits in nightclubs) before, during and after the Southeast Asian Games. That is why we are increasing police visibility in those areas as part of our security measures,” said Sinas.
Aside from Central Luzon, at least 19 sports will be held in Metro Manila. Some games will also be held in CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).
Sinas explained that the security measures in the nightspot areas is aimed at preventing possibility of foreign guests being involved in some troubles.
“We have anticipated all the possible scenarios based on what happened in the past. So we are increasing the security in those areas which we call most-likely tourist spots in Metro Manila,” said Sinas.
Part of the security preparations in that aspect, according to Sinas, is an analysis on which participating countries have the past history of frequently visiting bars and nightclubs.
Almost 16,000 policemen will be deployed in various parts of Metro Manila, particularly in the venues and hotels where athletes and other delegations would be billeted.
Sinas said they expect the arrival of the athletes starting Tuesday.
Policemen will be augmented by personnel of other government agencies. K-9 units will also be deployed in sports venues and hotels.
“We have already completed the list of prohibited items in the sports venues. These will all be posted in the venues for proper guidance of those who want to watch the games to support their teams,” said Sinas.
Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said there is already an approval on the request to suspend the Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) in Central Luzon, Metro Manila and CALABARZON, as well as the province of La Union.
The suspension, according to Banac, is from November 20 to December 14.
Banac said only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, other law enforcement agencies tasked to secure the SEA Games are allowed to carry firearms in the said regions.
“This is part of our security preparations for the upcoming SEA Games to be held here in the country and we would like to ensure activities to be free from firearms-related incident and to assure the safety of all local and foreign delegates,” said Banac.
At the same time, personalities who are in agency-prescribed uniforms and participants of the SEA Games Shooting Competitions are also exempted from the suspension of PTCFOR, according to Banac.
Around 10,000 athletes from Southeast Asian Region are expected to grace the 30th SEA Games. (Aaron Recuenco)