The Philippine National Police (PNP) has released a primer containing safety and crime-prevention tips for people taking long holidays this season.
This is in line with the recently launched SUMVAC 2017, the summer vacation program of the PNP-Police Community Relations Group (PNP-PCRG) dubbed "Ligtas na Bakasyon, Serbisyo ng Kapulisan."
According to Superintendent Elmer Cereno, head of information communication development division of PNP-PCRG, the public should take extra precaution especially when traveling to far places.
The primer offers tips for travelers using their own vehicles, taking public transportation, as well as visiting churches, beaches and resorts.
It also includes PNP emergency-contact hotlines.
"All police stations should put their station's police numbers. These tarpaulins will be displayed in all police stations," Cereno said.
The PNP is coordinating with homeowners associations at subdivisions to advise residents to secure their homes from "akyat-bahay" activities.
The police also urged the public not to post pictures of their vacations on social media.
"Kapag pupunta po tayo sa magagandang tourist destination, huwag na po nating i-post. Alam niyo naman po ang Internet ngayon, mabilis pong mag pick-up yan, wala palang tao dito, makikita po ang post natin. Wala pa lang tao rito. Mula sa NAIA3 going to Boracay. May selfie tayo na nandoon lahat ng family natin. Binibigyan natin ng pagkakataon itong mga kawatan na tirahin ang bahay natin," Cereno said.
(If we go to a nice tourist destination, let's not post pictures of those spots anymore. These things can be picked up easily on the Internet. Criminal elements think, 'So nobody's home now?' If we take selfies from the airport to Boracay, for example, we're encouraging them to break into our homes.)
Cereno asked the public to remain vigilant against "salisi" gang members when visiting public places.
"Salisi na alam naman natin na itong mga kawatan, kung saan maraming tao, nandoon sila (Thievery thrives in thick crowds). Expect iyong mga terminals, ports, diyan sila naglalagi kaya naka-deploy na iyong mga police assistance desk natin at mga intelligence police natin na nagro-roam sa mga terminals natin," Cereno said.
Quezon City Police Director Guillermo Eleazar said his department has begun coordinating with security personnel of various establishments such as malls and terminals.
“Mag-augment na tayo ng personnel sa mga police assistance desk. While doing that, alam naman natin na magdadagsa na sila sa places of convergence, bus terminals, MRT/LRT stations,” Eleazar reported.
Eleazar said the QCPD will now focus on coordinating with homeowners associations and security personnel of subdivisions.
He added that while reports on "akyat bahay" activities have not increased, police still recognize that such a threat is high this time of the year.
"Tumataas siya dahil nag-aalisan ang mga tao, pero the point is because of information dissemination," Eleazar said.
"Una, nagdagdag ng tao ang kapulisan na magbabantay doon. Mas alerto tayo at the same time itong ating mga kababayan, nabibigyan ng mga tips so nagiging mas vigilant sila.
"Ang nangyayari, mas naka-counter ang ini-expect natin na posibleng pagtaas. So based on others celebration like Christmas and Undas, in fact hindi tumaas, noong araw na tinutukan natin halos walang krimen. Maganda iyong alert tayo, vigilant, police and civilian populace para ma-prevent natin."
(Incidents of breaking and entering increase this season as people go on vacations, but there are more police now monitoring these villages. We are more alert and we're giving the public a heads up with these tips, so people become more vigilant. The number of incidents goes up, but because we anticipate these types of activities, based on our experience during Christmas and All Souls' Day, almost no crime happens.)