FORTY-THREE parishes, churches, including theSan Pedro Cathedral, were reminded to be vigilant as religious activities were already allowed at 50% capacity under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
The meeting of the Davao Diocesan Churches, Parish Disaster Action Response Team (PDART), and the Task Force Davao was held around 9 a.m. last Tuesday. They tackled the culture of security as emphasized by Executive Order 41 signed by Mayor Sara Duterte.
In addition, they were briefed on the role of every individual based on the new anti-terror campaign launched by the city government, which emphasizes the civic duty of every Davaoeno to observe and report anything suspicious.
Col. Consolito Yecla, the commander of Task Force Davao, said the participants were also reminded about other target-hardening measures to ensure the safety of the church and parishioners. These include installing CCTVs, practicing parking buffer zones, and not using garbage bins inside church premises.
During the meeting, the participants also suggested that the archbishop must remind churchgoers about the no-backpack policy, no-jacket policy, and ban on non-transparent water containers.
“Amidst the present Covid-19 pandemic, our appreciation of security should be greater since the mandatory wearing of masks and other forms of PPEs makes facial and other physical identification of individual terrorists harder,” Yecla said.
The PDART, as a volunteer group of the church, will serve as the primary security force inside the premises and the immediate vicinity of the churches.
Anti-terror bill to help secure city
Meanwhile, Yecla said the Anti-Terrorism Law will help make their jobs easier to secure Davao City.
“The Anti-Terrorism Law will boost the anti-terrorism campaign of Task Force Davao,” Yecla said.
He said that if the law was enacted decades ago, Davao City should not have lost 79 lives who fell victim to terrorist attacks that hounded the area since the 1980s.
“We should not be influenced or persuaded by the few people who have no concerns about the feelings of Davaoeños who have lost their loved ones during the terror attacks in Davao City,” he added.
The Task Force Davao commander said the law should not be feared. “Instead, it should be embraced by Davaoeños practicing the culture of security to protect the city against terrorism,” he added.