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Maximum security zone for Roxas night market

Col. Consolito Yecla says the maximum security zone may be expanded to include the Roxas night market after pilot-testing the protocol in San Pedro square during the recent Kadayawan festival. Yecla is one of the guests of the AFP-PNP media forum at The Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday. At right is Police Capt. Nolan Tagsip, spokesperson of Davao City Police Office. Bing Gonzales

The Task Force Davao is waiting for the legislative authority from the City Council to implement the maximum security zone in Roxas night market.

The TF Davao pilot-tested the maximum security zone in the San Pedro Square, covering the cathedral, Quezon Park and Rizal Park, during the recently concluded Kadayawan Festival. They want to expand that to the Roxas night market.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP – PNP press briefing held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Col. Consolito Yecla, the unit commander, said the maximum security zone at San Pedro square is still being implemented even after the month-long festival.

“We recommended a scheme on how to implement the security at San Pedro square and we are now discussing on how it will be implemented as it requires a rerouting and parking system,” he said.

“The big component is the parking system because vehicles of the government employees and others
will be affected,” Yecla said.

One of the crucial area is to limit the entry points so they don’t overstretch their security personnel. For now, they are already starting to implement a parking system during office hours. But the sheer number of vehicles require that they bring in the City Transport and Traffic Management Office for help.

“Because what we want during office hours and holidays, that the area in the parks will be free of parking vehicles,” he added.

The Kadayawan Festival allowed them to tweak their security cordon to make it more effective in the future. For instance, he proposed a separate parking area for government personnel, private vehicles, and motorcycles in the San Pedro square. “This will lessen the focus of the inspection,” he added.

Last Friday, the TF Davao briefed the focal person of Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte on how they would go about changing the parking system. “Our recommendation is that during office hours there will be no vehicles that will be parked in Rizal Park, Quezon Park, and Centennial park.

“Because these parks are situated between the San Pedro Cathedral and City Hall. If you check on Google, the San Pedro Cathedral is the oldest church in the city and it is considered a historical landmark of the city, then San Pedro Street is the oldest street,” he said.

What they are proposing is to declare the San Pedro square a historical and secured landmark so that “during weekend when you go there, you will feel that you are in the historical site.”

Meanwhile, he also expressed his gratitude to all Davaoenos for always being cooperative.

“We have not heard any complaints on the implementation of the no backpack policy and no jacket policy,” he said. “Davaoenos have practiced the culture of security, especially in submitting themselves for inspections.”

On Wednesday, Yecla said he received a text message from Councilor Mabel Acosta to also include Roxas night market as another maximum security zone. He said the timing is right considering that the area is teeming with people every night. The Roxas night market also just marked the third year since the terrorist attack on Sept. 2, 2016, which killed 15 and injured 70 others.

For the Roxas night market, the commander will be soliciting the help of trisikad drivers, push cart vendors, security guards, stall vendors, and workers for a community-based security approach.

“According to Councilor Acosta, they will prepare the resolution for the Roxas night market as maximum security zone while they also prepare the ordinance on the maximum security zone for the San Pedro square,” Yecla said.

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