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TFD commander: We’ll perfect San Pedro Square first

Security officers are open for the possibility to include other parts of the city as maximum security zones but they suggest to concentrate first at the San Pedro Square being the first spot in the city to be declared such.

“We have to perfect (first) the implementation on San Pedro Square before we can identify another place to be recommended as a maximum security zone,” Task Force Davao (TFD) commander Col. Consolito Yecla told reporters at the sideline of the city council’s committee hearing of the proposed ordinance expanding the maximum security zones in the city last Monday.

After the City Council approved the recommendation of the committee on peace and public safety to declare the San Pedro Square as a maximum security zone in time for the Kadayawan festival, councilors are proposing to expand the highly-secured places in the city after the pilot testing conducted during the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan last Saturday.

The Maximum Security Zone covers prohibition of backpacks, jackets, non-transparent water containers, non-transparent garbage bins, shrubs, and plants, drones, and vehicles.

There is a suggestion to declare Roxas Street, particularly the Roxas Night Market, as a maximum security zone because of the influx of visitors every night. At least 15 persons died and 70 others were injured when two bombs exploded at the Roxas Night Market on Sept. 2, 2016.

But since then, TFD operatives along with the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) have been guarding the night market as they also prohibit the bringing of backpacks and other dangerous items.

Yecla said the implementation of a maximum security zone is very specific per area.

“During big events, we will absolutely implement the no-backpack policy and the no-jacket policy,” said Yecla.

Yecla said they will focus on the San Pedro Square being already declared as a Maximum Security Zone.

The San Pedro Square houses important government offices and parks frequented by the public, such as City Hall, City Council, San Pedro Cathedral, Rizal Park, Osmena Park, Quezon Park, and Centennial Park.

The San Pedro Square is also the venue for the major events in the city where street competitions culminate. These include Araw ng Davao’s Parada Davaoeño, Kadayawan’s Indak-Indak (street dance) and Pamulak sa Kadayawan (floral float parade), and Pasko Fiesta’s Lamdag Parada (lighted float) and Drum and Bugle competition.

Various commemorations, such as Rizal Days and Independence Day, are held at the Rizal Park.

Yecla said they are proposing to implement a no-parking scheme in time for the Pamulak sa Kadayawan, a major Kadayawan street event set next Saturday.

Based on the proposed parking scheme, marked designated parking spaces at the San Pedro Square will be allotted only to department heads and employees of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the City Hall.

Yecla also proposed that during off-office hours, the streets surrounding Quezon Park, Rizal Park, and the Centennial Park will be declared as no parking areas.

The maximum security zone at San Pedro Square covers the streets of A. Pichon (formerly Magallanes), particularly from Jaltan, up to Bonifacio Monument Rotunda; C.M. Recto, particularly from Bonifacio Monument Rotunda up to corner Rizal Extension; Rizal Extension to corner C. Bangoy (Ponciano Street corner Crooked Road); C. Bangoy to corner San Pedro Street; San Pedro Street to corner City Hall Drive, and City Hall Drive to corner A. Pichon Street.

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