The Palawan Provincial Board (PB) has approved a resolution urging all local government units (LGUs) to implement their own anti-terrorism awareness campaigns to persuade consistent vigilance and reporting of potential threats.
Resolution author Clarito Demaala IV said Palawan is among the provinces being targeted by terrorist groups such as the kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf because it is a popular destination in the country that continues to receive high tourist volume.
He said the type and severity of the attacks of the terrorists require not only a serious and knowledgeable response from safety and security managers in the military and the police but also the support of local government officials.
Demaala said while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are exerting all efforts to secure particular areas in the province, the LGUs should also get busy implementing anti-terrorism campaign drives that would improve the alertness and watchfulness of their residents.
“Malaki ang chance na maging target tayo ng mga terrorists sa kidnapping and bombing tulad nang nangyayari na sa ibang lugar. Ang simpleng pagpapaalala sa ating LGUs about this ay importante. At least, malalaman nila kung sino ang puwedeng tawagan o unang tatawagan in case may mangyari sa kanilang lugar,” Demaala said.
Responding to the approved measure, Quezon mayor Joselito Ayala assured Friday that they will be cooperative to the call to prevent terroristic threats and also to the war on drugs.
“Walang problema sa amin ‘yan. We are very cooperative pagdating sa ganyan, in fact, lahat ng barangay officials natin ganyan din sila dito sa Quezon,” he said.
Mayor Nieves Rosento of El Nido, one of the tourist-frequented municipalities in Palawan, also said they are strengthening their anti-terrorism campaigns in partnership with various law enforcement agencies and stakeholders.
She said the call to implement more anti-terrorism awareness campaigns at the municipal level is necessary, especially in their town that can be an attractive target because of the increasing number of tourist visits.
“We are really strengthening our efforts against terrorism, napakarami ng turista dito kaya we should really ensure their safety as well as the residents. Nandiyan ang mga law enforcers natin, marines, navy, police at lahat ng pwedeng makatulong sa ating security,” Rosento said.