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Security measures for Visit Phils. ’03 are now in place
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Lynda B. Valencia
Date: 2003-01-10
Security measures are in place for Visit Philippines 2003 (VP 2003).

Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon said the Department will be working closely with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police-Western Police District (PNP-WPD) to assure the safety of the participants of the year-long event.

“As whole, tourism security in the country is tight. We haven’t had any attacks here,” Gordon said.

He added, “We have more than 600 policemen assigned to tourism-related destinations. Hotels and resorts have coordinated with the non-government organizations (NGOs) and the local government units (LGUs) and the military.”

He also stressed that “from time to time, I call the regional directors to check on how they are and make sure that they are on their toes, whether or not there is a threat to national security.”

Last year, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed by the DoT and DILG, LGUs, and the PNP for increased protection of tourism.

The agreement also included increased training for policemen in tourism-oriented areas and increased security in key destinations.

“Now there is a paradigm shift all over the world. Terrorism can hit anywhere in the world, so we must be tight at all times,” he stressed.

The Security Plan for Intramuros involves the establishment of an Advance Command Post (ACP) to monitor security activities. The post will be manned by police personnel of the Tourism Security Division (TSD) of the National Capital Region (TSD-NCR) and the Task Force Turista-Philippine National Police-Directorate of Operations (TFTPNP-DO).

All apprehensions within the area shall be turned over to PNP-WPD for appropriate action. The ACP, through the DoT Overall Security Coordinator, is also required to submit daily reports to the Office of the Undersecretary of Tourism Services and Regional Offices (TSRO).

The TSD-NCR and the TFT, in coordination with the Intramuros Administration (IA), will take charge in maintenance and deployment of adequate security.

The TSD-NCR- and TFT shall also coordinate with the Metro Manila Development Authority-Traffic Enforcement Group (MMDA-TEG) on route security, traffic direction and control, including parking, to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

The DoT will coordinate with PNP-DO and the WPD to provide mobile cars for police visibility within the area.

The DoT has also tapped the Metro Manila LGUs to generate awareness, support, safety and security of the visitors in Intramuros.

“We’ve coordinated with the embassies abroad to bring people in. Our tourism attachés are working double time for this event. I have conducted sales missions in different countries, telling them about the Philippines. I expect more Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese to visit the Philippines, not only this year but in the years to come,” Gordon said.

VP 2003 will be highlighted by a year-long festival in Intramuros, as well as in different provinces. As a start, from January 15-31, the WOW Philippines Grand Fiesta Sale will be held among the shopping malls nationwide, particularly in Makati.

“Intramuros has showcased the various festivals around the country. We predict that tourists will concentrate in Manila, so we are giving them a teaser of the different fiestas in here,” Gordon said. (PNA)


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