Palace: Gov’t agencies on heightened alert this Holy Week
MANILA, Philippines — Government agencies are on heightened alert this Holy Week to ensure public safety, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“Public safety continues to be our top priority. These include additional security deployments in different areas of convergence such as bus terminals, airports, seaports, vital government, and private installations, churches, malls, and other public recreation areas,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo noted that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed 11,600 police officers around Metro Manila and has also set up more than 4,500 assistance desks across the country.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has launched “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Semana Santa 2019” and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has deployed around 1,500 traffic personnel in anticipation of the influx of travelers during the weeklong break.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) have also deployed airport police department personnel to key areas around the airport and set up 24/7 airport police help desks.
“The Department of Tourism (DOT) has already coordinated with the local government units to set up emergency care systems and facilities in tourist destinations ahead of the Holy Week,” the Palace official added.
Malacañang has declared April 18 (Maundy Thursday) and April 19 (Good Friday) as regular holidays and April 20 (Black Saturday) as a special non-working day.
Panelo also called on the public to comply with the security protocols being imposed by authorities and remain vigilant of their surroundings.
“Let us also remember that Lent is a time for reflection. It is a genuine message of solidarity to everyone regardless of the differences in our affiliation or denomination,” Panelo said.
“May the life of sacrifice and humility that Jesus Christ had lived serve as an inspiration to us all so that we may continue to help each other especially in times of need and adversity,” he added. /ee