THE Metro Boracay Police Task Force (MBPTF) is more than ready for the island’s re-opening on Oct. 26, 2018.
“Even before and during the closure, when some anticipated a possible rise in crimes against property, it did not happen. The closure went smoothly. And we also believed, Boracay will re-open with no untoward incident,” said Senior Supt. Jesus Cambay Jr, MBPTF commander and concurrent Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 deputy regional director for operations.
MBPTF police were trained and instructed that the safety and security of the residents, workers, and tourists will be their utmost concern, Cambay said.
He added that the rehabilitation period has been a witness to how MBPTF maintained the peace and order situation of the island.
By being prepared, Cambay said they are not only talking about crime statistics.
“It’s more than that. We are ready because the systems are now in place as far as Boracay police is concerned,” he said.
The measures include the restructuring of the Malay Police Station initiated by former PRO-6 director Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag and later implemented by the current director, Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao.
The restructuring called for the transfer of Malay Police Station from the Malay town proper to Boracay Island.
From 147 personnel, the station will now have 389 officers.
The Malay Police Station reorganization is considered a vital preventive measure in the law enforcement and security operations in Boracay.
While the police station has been transferred to the island in August yet, the deployment of the 389 police officers would be completed by first week of October.
Along with the transfer of Malay Police Station, the PRO-6 also abolished the Boracay Tourist Assistance Center (BTAC) because of its dysfunction, Cambay said.
Instead of having a tourist police unit, PRO-6’s goal in restructuring Malay Police Station is to have a “world class, highly-capable tourist and environment-oriented police force responsive to the current and emerging challenge.”
Cambay said they are currently training 39 personnel to form part of the Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) team.
Malay police officers will also undergo training on explosives ordnance identification.
The training program on Tourist Oriented Police aims to empower more PNP personnel assigned in different tourist destinations in Western Visayas.
The MBPTF will eventually be disbanded when the Boracay rehabilitation is over.
Personnel who will not be assigned to the Malay Police Station or with the Aklan Mobile Force Company will return to their mother units.
MBPTF, which took over the security concerns during the Boracay’s 6-month closure, deployed 630 police personnel. But the augmentation is only 158 officers to another police task force and the defunct BTAC.
The augmentation force includes 138 for the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) or anti-riot company while 20 are administrative staffers.