Undas holiday rate in NCR up by 14 pct in 2021
MANILA - Theft and robbery topped the list of crimes commonly committed during the All Saints and All Souls holidays in the Philippines last year.
Data from the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed crime in Metro Manila during Undas 2021 went up by 14 percent compared to 2020, but is still lower than the pre-pandemic levels.
National Capital Region Police Office revealed an overall decrease in index crimes, or crimes against people and property, which coincided with the mobility restrictions during the pandemic.
This decrease, however, was offset by an uptick in traffic incidents, and an increase in non-index crimes, or those illegal acts covered by special laws or local ordinances, ABS-CBN IRG also said.
In 2020 and 2021, there was a consistent decline in robbery, theft and carnapping of vehicles and motorcycles, crimes that usually increase during Undas since many people tend to travel for a vacation or visit their relatives in cemeteries, leaving their properties unattended.
But due to the pandemic, people were forced to stay at home, and cemeteries were also closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
In terms of index crimes, theft cases went down by 40 percent, from a median of 43 cases in prepandemic years to 25 in 2020 and 23 in 2021.
Robbery cases also went down by more than 25 percent, from a median of 21 cases before the pandemic to 15 each in 2020 and 2021.
Carnapping cases went down the most, from 15 cases in 2019 to 7 in 2020 and 3 in 2021.
Traffic incidents, which used to be around 57 percent of crime incidents during Undas in Metro Manila in the past five years, went down by 40 percent in 2020 and 2021, compared to 2019.
From 2017 to 2019, reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property and physical injuries during Undas averaged around 200 cases a day, but it was only 114 a day in 2020 and 124 a day in 2021.
Non-index crimes, however, went up by 34 percent in 2020, slightly surpassing the 2019 figure.
These crimes include violations against the Anti-Gambling Law (83 percent), Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act (63 percent), and Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (53 percent).
Unattended lighted candle is top cause of fire during Undas
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fire Protection recorded an average of 111 fire incidents nationwide during the Undas period.
Data also showed 3 in 5 fire incidents occurred in homes, except in 2020 when structural fire incidents decreased.
Non-structural and vehicular fire incidents, however, increased in 2020, though the BFP did not provide an explanation for their data, ABS-CBN IRG said.
During the Undas holidays, “open flame from unattended lighted candles and electrical ignition caused by either loose connection or arcing” are the top causes of fire incidents from 2017 to 2021.
Of the total number of fire incidents from 2017 to 2021, fire incidents caused by open flame from unattended lighted candles account for 116 or a fifth of all fire incidents.
Filipinos are known to flock to terminals, whether airport, sea ports or for buses, during the Undas holiday, among others.