MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that Monday’s nationwide opening of classes for school year 2014-2015 was generally peaceful.
In an interview, Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, head of the PNP-public information office, said there was no significant untoward incident recorded since Monday morning until mid-afternoon.
“Tuloy-tuloy ang kampanyang ginagawa, lalo na sa anti- criminality campaign . . .,” Sindac told the Philippines News Agency in a phone interview.
In Metro Manila, he said that the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) likewise reported that no untoward incident was recorded within its jurisdiction.
Aside from foot patrol, Sindac said they have set up police assistance desks, particularly in Metro Manila and other urban areas.
He said some 18,500 policemen were tapped to secure the students trooping back to classes for the school year 2014-2015.
“We have set up 7,441 police assistance desks nationwide so far. These are places where both students and parents could go to report any untoward incident, particularly cases of bullying and other street crimes,” said Sindac.
He added that they are particularly keeping an eye on out-of-school youth bullies 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 bullies.
The PNP-PIO chief said the anti-bullying measures of the PNP will not just be for this week.
He also said 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 Sindac, is to tap the barangay (village) security officials to reinforce policemen in dealing with school-related untoward incidents.
Sindac said the same security template will be implemented on the opening of classes next week for private schools, including some colleges and universities.