BIcol PNP, Albay province brace for Pope’s PH visit.
The coming visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines, particularly in Manila and Tacloban, now reaches feverish proportions.
Do not discount Albay to just stand by. Governor Joey Salceda has issued a no-work order for capitol employees and the suspension of classes at all levels on January 16, but the order was anchored on consultations and collective appraisal with government agencies like the Department of Education in the province.
The governor requested the Department of Public Works and Highways and local government units to temporarily suspend work on this day so as to clear the route from Albay to Metro Manila.
Although Pope Francis will not go to any part of Bicol, the Philippine National Police Regional Office 5 is also preparing for the Papal visit aside from sending 1,500 police officers to Tacloban City to reinforce security.
PNP Bicol regional director Chief Supt. Victor Deona said that aside from the formation of the PNP Bicol Task Force Papal Visit, a three-battalion Bicol police contingent to reinforce the PNP Region 8 force, they have also been preparing security for devotees going to Tacloban by land through Bicol.
It has established motorist assistance centers in police stations along the Maharlika Highway from Tabogon, Daet, Camarines Norte up to Matnog, Sorsogon.
Deona also instructed PNP Sorsogon provincial director Sr. Supt. Bernie Banac to re-implement controlled points in Sorsogon City, Irosin, Juban, Casiguran and Matnog. Controlled points in Sorsogon will have facilities like comfort rooms and eateries.
The PNP Bicol chief has recommended to the Philippine Ports Authority and the Maritime Industry Authority to add more trips of sea transport plying the Matnog and Bulan ports, both in Sorsogon, during the visit.
The move aims to avoid long lines of vehicles that will go to Samar and Leyte via the Matnog port and ensure the security of the commuting public and motorists.