MANILA - The beginning of the holiday season has ushered in various sales and promos in malls, with the expected influx of shoppers who plan to do their early Christmas shopping.
Philippine National Police Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (PNP-SOSIA) assistant chief Senior Supt. Bernie Banac said security departments in malls were reminded to beef up, especially during the holiday season.
Agencies were also advised to tighten security and enforce anti-terrorism measures.
“Kasama na riyan ang paninita at pag-check ng gamit,” Banac said.
“Lahat ng mga commercial establishments, meron tayong police desk at mobile patrols. Nariyan lamang sila sa labas. Anytime na may insidente at kailangan ng kanilang presensiya at agad na nakakapagresponde sila doon sa loob ng establishment,” he added.
Banac warned of incidents wherein criminals buy weapons in malls, such as "martilyo gang" members who buy hammers and use them to steal from jewelry stores.
“Kapag may binili na ganong bagay, dapat ito ay i-safekeeping muna at hindi muna ipinapadala sa bumili hangga’t hindi tayo nakakasigurado na siya ay palabas na nga talaga ng mall o ng establishment,” he added.
Banac said malls should not let security guards wear Halloween and Christmas costumes.
“Kailangan manatili silang nasa tamang bihis, kung ano lamang ang prescribed uniform, yun lamang ang kanilang mga dapat nilang gamitin. Dapat kailangang makilala agad sila, kung may pangangailangan ng security, kailagan dapat ma-approach sila at makilala na sila ang security ng establishment na yan. Para sila ay marespeto ng mamamayan,” Banac said.
Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO) president Ramon Bergado said clients ask guards to wear costumes as part of their "gimmick".
“Kung minsan, the client, gusto nila business-friendly, parang hindi 'war-torn territory' ang atmosphere so as not to what we call to deter or discourage to come in. Gusto nila na lumabas na we are free. Sometimes, there is a repercussion to that because you cannot sacrifice security for advertisement or for economy,” Bergado said.
According to SOSIA and PADPAO, the guards’ focus should be on the security of mall goers and not on entertainment.
“Security is deterrent, kaya dapat yung mga special set of uniforms should be discouraged. Public convergence nandoon dapat ang guwardiya, fully armed that will deter the criminals from thinking of anything dahil alam nila on alert kami,” Bergado said.
He said there should be a buddy system in mall entrances and exits.
“Kailangan na mag-buddy buddy sila para hindi sila malusutan ng mga criminal. Kung nag-iisa lang naman siya, maaari siyang lansihin at yung iba namang kasamahan ng criminal, papasok na. Yun ang dahilan para kailangan ay buddy buddy pa rin,” he added.
“We suggested that the security management plan of every infrastructure should be in place and install the necessary number of guards and this should never be compromised,” Bergado said.
Bergado said security agencies are often blamed when there are security lapses in establishments.
“Advise natin sa mga members natin, you formulate what you call security survey and recommend the necessary number of guards to provide protection so that in the event you have something to lean on. ‘Ito yung recommendation, hindi po in-adopt’. You will not be liable, that will exonerate you from any damages because that was not your control,” he said.