Agencies sign agreement to protect tourists

BAGUIO CITY – Officials of the local government, the Cordillera offices of the Department of Tourism DOT-CAR) and the Police Regional Office (PRO-COR) recently signed an agreement to enhance the implementation of various programs and projects that will guarantee the safety and security of foreign and domestic visitors frequenting the country’s undisputed Summer Capital.

The agreement was signed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, PRO-COR regional director Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana and DOT-CAR representative Mary Bilagot at the close of the skills enhancement training conducted by the concerned stakeholders for members of the city’s Tourist Oriented Police.

Under the agreement, the parties shall jointly conduct refresher training courses to all Tourist Police to upgrade their skills and familiarize them on the proper procedures particularly in providing immediate police assistance to tourists subject to availability of funds; provision of motorcycles, bicycles, handheld radios, communication systems and other equipment to carry out the obligations of the Tourist Police; collaborate and establish working linkages with other government agencies and encourage and foster continuous and free exchange of information with regard to the Tourist Police.

Further, the PRO-COR shall undertake the proper selection of Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) personnel to be assigned as Tourist Police in different tourist spots in the city; perform security, investigation, police community relations and follow-up operations in crimes committed in the area involving local or foreign tourists and coordinate with DOT-CAR and the local government to determine strategic areas within a tourist spot to be designated as tourist assistance center while the DOT-CAR shall jointly provide refresher training courses to all tourist policemen and provide the necessary expenses together with the local government subject to availability of funds.

On the other hand, the local government provide the necessary mobility and communication requirements and other equipment needed by the Tourist police and agree to designate a tourist assistance center in tourist spots.

From the previous 18 members of the BCPO-TOP, the number of tourist policemen grew to 53 under the supervision of 5 police officers distributed in the different parts of the city.

Domogan asserted that all visitors are considered to be very important persons that is why law enforcers should treat them with utmost respect to ensure that they will be enticed to keep coming back to the city and enjoy its cool and romantic climate.

He added that the tourist policemen are considered to be the city’s frontliners in dealing with the tourists that is why they should undergo the appropriate skills enhancement trainings needed for them to continue improving their skills and knowledge on how to attend to the needs of the growing number of visitors frequenting the city, especially during weekends and holidays.

For his part, Nana encouraged the tourist policemen to be always alert in their respective posts for them to thwart any evil motive of people to ruin the peaceful and orderly situation in the city’s tourist spots and for them to guarantee the safety and security of visitors when roaming around the city.

By Dexter A. See

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