MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has released safety tips for both the students and parents to observe in order to prevent them from being victimized by criminal elements.
Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief of PNP-Public Information Office (PIO), said that the most common crime against the students is snatching, it would be for the safety of the students to forego wearing expensive jewelry or displaying their expensive phones in public.
Sindac also said that bringing large amount of money would only put the children at risk since those will serve as a magnet to attract criminal elements.
“So the best anti-crime defense is to be simple. We also encourage students from talking with strangers by keeping distance or not talking to them at all,” Sindac explained.
He also that the PNP will also look for the bullies who expect to prowl school areas for new targets of their extortion activities.
“Bullying is actually just one of our concerns, the others are common street crimes like snatching, swindling, robbery and most especially street-level drug trafficking,” he added.
Sindac said they are particularly keeping an eye on out-of-school youth whose modus operandi is to threaten both elementary and high school students if they would not yield to their demands.
In most cases, out-of-school bullies are usually asking for money aside from taking food from their targets.
Sindac said that the PNP will also be focusing on foot patrol to make sure that students on their way to schools will not be harassed by out-of-school-youth.
Aside from foot patrol, Sindac said they will be setting up police assistance desks particularly in Metro Manila and other urban areas.
Meanwhile, Sindac said 18,500 policemen are tapped to secure the class opening for public elementary and high schools.
“We have already set up 7,441 police assistance desks nationwide so far. This will be a place where both student and parents could go to report any untoward incident, particularly cases of bullying and other street crimes,” said Sindac.
But the PNP-PIO chief said the anti-bullying measures of the PNP will not just be for this week.
Sindac also revealed that the PNP leadership has instructed local police commanders to maintain coordination with school officials in order to come up with the best plan on how to protect the students from bullies for the entire school year.
Part of the coordination, according to the official, is to tap the barangay (village) security officials to reinforce policemen from school-related untoward incidents.
Since students from public schools will troop on Monday (June 2) and the private schools which opted to delay the class opening by one week, Sindac said the same security template will be implemented next week for private schools, including some colleges and universities.