By Aaron Recuenco
After what it describes as a successful election security coverage, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now training its eyes on the opening of classes next month.
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said they will be deploying 120,000 policemen to secure the opening of classes for public and private schools on June 3.
“We will be setting up police assistance desks and we will be deploying 120,000 of our people for this Ligtas Balik-Eskuwela program” said Albayalde.
He said the 120,000 cops will perform various duties which he specified in the memorandum he issued to police regional directors.
It does not include the cleaning of the schools under the “Brigada Eskwela” program of the Department of Education.
Albayalde clarified that this does not mean that they are preventing policemen from joining the annual school clean-up campaign.
“We cannot just enter school premises. If the Department of Education needs our assistance for their Brigada Eskwela, then they should make the proper request to the PNP offices,” said Albayalde.
Around 29 million students across the country in various grade levels are expected to troop to schools for the simultaneous opening of classes in both public and private learning institutions.
“In our security and operational thrusts, our guidelines for this year’s Ligtas Balik-Eskwela ensures the operational readiness of police units in responding to peace and order concerns including threats from criminal elements that may take advantage of the situation,” said Albayalde.
He said he expects his men to conduct patrols in the vicinity of schools and be on the look-out for drug traffickers, muggers, and violent street gangs that may infiltrate the ranks of students.
He said local police units have already been instructed to coordinate closely with school administrators and officials of the DepEd and Commission on Higher Education to implement safety and security measures in campuses.
“PNP Regional Directors have the discretionary authority to maintain full alert conditions as they deem necessary to effectively implement their respective security and public safety plans,” said Albayalde. (Aaron Recuenco)