The Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) will heighten the security alert during the Holy Week to assist the city government and the church in preventing the further spread of coronavirus disease.

Retired Police Lt. Colonel Angel Sumagaysay, PSSCC’s deputy head, said in a phone interview that they have already coordinated with the different security units in the city, in response to the expected influx of people in different places of worship – as well as barring people from convening in prohibited areas and conducting mass gatherings during the Lenten break.

“Gi-tap nato tanang security units particularly ang Davao City Police Office, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Police ug nangayo pud ta’g tabang sa liga ng mga barangay para deploy-an gyud nato ning mga areas nga namention sa E.O. (We have tapped all security units particularly the Davao City Police Office, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Maritime Police, and we have also sought the help of our barangay officials to ensure the deployment of our personnel to the areas mentioned in the E.O.), Sumagaysay said, while referring to the Executive Order No. 19 issued by Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte recently.

E.O. 19 orders the temporary closure of all beaches, beach resorts, and inland water resorts starting April 1 to 4, 2021 while prohibiting individuals from gathering on beaches and inland resorts during the long holiday weekend for Holy week.

“Naka-ready na atong security units and kung mag-effect na. Naka-delpoy na na sila tanan sa mga beaches and resorts (All our security units are ready as soon as it takes effect. They were already assigned to their designated places on beaches and resorts.),” Sumagaysay said.

He said that they are also closely monitoring not only the downtown areas but upland areas as well because they believed that more people would leave their houses to observe the Lenten season.

“Gusto namo ipaabot sa tanan dili lang diri sa sentro sa city, we have rivers didto sa upper land areas sa Davao City nga didto nagaligo, didto naga-converge, ato gyud na syang gibawal (We want to remind the public that we are only monitoring the city proper but also rivers in upper land areas in Davao City where people converge. We do not allow it),” Sumagaysay stressed.

Sumagaysay said that they have also plotted security plans to avoid overcrowding in churches.

He also reminded the public about the health safety protocols that should be observed during the planned gatherings to celebrate the Holy Week.

“Tanan outdoor activities are canceled except the mass celebrations. We also limit 50 percent lang sa tanang simbahan ug i-require tanang tao nga mosunod sa minimum public health protocols sa pagsulod sa simbahan (All outdoor activities are canceled except the mass celebrations. We also limit to 50 percent the number of attendees in all churches and will strictly require them to follow the minimum public health protocols upon entry),” he said.

Sumagaysay said that they are aiming to keep a balance with their enforcement on public safety and the implementation of the minimum health standard protocols.

“Ang ginatan-aw sa atong local government na tanan kita safe ug dili matakdan bisan unsang activities dili lang Lenten season (What our local government wants to emphasize is that we will be all safe and will not be infected with the virus in all kind of activities, not only during Lenten season),” Sumagaysay reiterated. CIO