Police officials said they will intensify efforts to secure tourists visiting Cebu by setting up tourist police outposts in strategic areas in the island.
At present, only one tourist police outpost stands near Cebu City Hall.
Another can be added outside the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in barangay Lahug, said Supt. Ramon Melvin Buenafe in yesterday’s Talakayan sa Isyung Police.
Other special outposts are planned for Badian town in the southwest and Malapascua Island and Sta. Fe town in northern Cebu.
Cebu Provincial Police Director Patrocino Comendador Jr. said they are coordinating with the newly appointed police Regional Director Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo and the Department of Public Works and Highways for these projects.
“We are still waiting for their advice. Once they give feedback, the construction will start immediately,” Comendador said.
Central Visayas is the number one tourist destination in the country, said Garbo.
He said he wants his deputies to serve and protect tourists.
“I want Cebu to be the best regional office in the whole Philippine National Police. The police in PRO- 7 must be heard, seen and must felt,” Garbo said.
Garbo met with Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza to discuss his plans.
In the police forum, Comendador said crime incidents in Cebu province decreased by 14 percent from January to August this year compared with the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Garbo recognized best practices of the police in the region and said that he will continue to review and adjust their policies and programs.
“The Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS) is a realistic program. This originated from PRO-7. The police must have proper goal-setting, documentation and periodic assessment. Commanders should meet face-to-face to assess and improve our programs,” he said.
Buenafe said that the PIPS is one way to prevent crimes.
To address holdups and other crimes by motorcycle-riding perpetrators, Garbo said police are conducting checkpoints and have activated a “Motorcycle Response Unit.”
“Checkpoints will also address the high number of loose firearms in the city,” he said.
He said these are the “pro-active steps” the police are taking to address the pattern of increased crimes during the months leading to the Christmas holidays./With a report from correspondent Chito O. Aragon