MANILA — With millions of students expected to flock to Metro Manila’s schools on Monday, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced that its operatives will be keeping tight watch on all educational facilities in its areas of jurisdiction.
Senior Supt. Ariel Arcinas, NCRPO operations chief, said that this will be done to ensure that no untoward incidents will mar the school opening.
He added that almost all of the NCRPO’s estimated 18,888 police officers and personnel will be deployed to secure the students returning to school.
Of these, 2,000 will be deployed in various schools to man the so-called “PADs” (police assistance desks) which will be instrumental in keeping security and traffic discipline in the above-mentioned educational facilities.
Arcinas said these police officers will be backed-up by beat and mobile policemen.
As this developed, the NCRPO operations officer announced that they also have alerted their explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) units on possible bomb calls and threats in schools.
He said that they already have instituted a protocol on how to deal with bomb threats.
These include having a contact person or marshal in the school who will answer the bomb threat call and determine the place where the caller claimed to have put the bomb and immediately act to cordon it, an individual who will report the incident to the nearest police station, and lastly the EOD unit who will conduct the search and if needed, will disarm, control or detonate the explosive.
Arcinas also urged the public to keep calm during these situations, adding most bomb threats in Metro Manila in the past turned out to be hoaxes.
“They should not just panic as everything possible is being done to neutralize these threats,” he said.
And in cases of suspicious-looking items randomly left behind, the NCRPO operations chief said that the first step is to determine whether the item is accidentally left by someone.
And if this fails, Arcinas then advised school officials to immediately call the nearest police precinct for assistance.
To ensure that no untoward incidents will happen during school opening, K-9 units will also be deployed in strategic locations.
“To enhance the capabilities of our EOD units, we are deploying 16 K-9 units in strategic locations where they can be deployed or called for assistance immediately,” Arcenas said.
He added that these K-9 units will also help in the NCRPO’s anti-criminality patrols.
“(The) NCRPO’s 16 K9 (is) deployable not only in the school but also in malls to remind criminals that we are also boosting our anti-criminality programs during school opening,” he stressed.