A tourist police unit (TPU) will be established in this province to ensure the safety of tourists and to maintain peace and order in the host communities.
The move is a collaborative effort between the provincial government of Pangasinan and the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPO).
“The Philippine National Police is to coordinate with the Department of Tourism (DOT) for the training of our policemen who will soon be assigned as tourist police. After that, we will identify tourist areas that need deployment together with the Pangasinan Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office,” said Pangasinan PPO director Col. Jeff Fanged in a phone interview on Wednesday.
He said the TPU is initiated by the provincial government of Pangasinan.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan board members last Aug. 14 approved the resolution authorizing Governor Ramon Guico III to enter into and sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Pangasinan PPO for the establishment of TPU.
“The TPU shall be deployed in major tourist destinations in the province in order to provide and ensure a secured environment for all tourists and the local community in the province,” the resolution stated.
Under the MOU, the provincial government, through the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), is the primary planning, programming, coordinating, and implementing local government in the development and promotion of the tourist industry and the various cultural affairs concern in the province.
The PTCAO will collaborate with the Pangasinan PPO on the identification of destinations, sites and events which are in need of police personnel to ensure the safety and security of tourists; provide necessary assistance and support for the set-up of the Tourist Police Assistance Desk (TPAD) during special events conducted by the provincial government of Pangasinan; and collaborate with the DOT based on the MOU.
The police force is to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills in dealing with international and domestic tourists; develop and produce information, education and communication collaterals; conduct awareness campaigns and publicize the services provided by the TPU; and prepare a Crisis Management Plan with the PTCAO.
The Pangasinan PPO is to collaborate with concerned local government units in setting-up 24-hour Tourist Police Action Centers (TPACs) in key tourist destinations for information service; establish TPAD with appropriate manpower complement; perform duties as patrollers, first responders, basic first aid assistance officers; conduct visits and inspections in all destination areas; and provide a quarterly report on tourist-related incidents as stated in the MOU. (PNA)