'No specific threat' during Holy Week but security measures in place
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said on Saturday, March 24, that all the necessary security measures are in place to ensure a peaceful and solemn observance of Holy Week.
"Appropriate security measures are in place to ensure public safety. These include additional deployments in various areas aimed at safeguarding places of convergence, such as transport terminals, churches, malls, and other public recreation areas," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Saturday that "no specific threat" has been monitored for this Holy Week, but security measures will still be implemented.
"There is no specific threat monitored for the Holy Week but the AFP will not put its guard down. We will continue to conduct appropriate security measures where needed to safeguard vulnerable communities," the AFP said in a statement on the eve of Palm Sunday, which ushers in Holy Week.
The military urged the public to be on full alert during the holidays to be able to "detect, deter, and frustrate any more by criminals and terrorists."
As of noontime Saturday, March 24, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) monitored a total of 82,161 outbound passengers the country's ports, harbors and piers.
The PCG activated its Passengers Assistance Centers (PAC) on Friday in preparation for the nationwide in observance of Holy Week.
Transportation officials earlier said that they will be on heightened alert status for terminals and ports to ensure safety and security of commuters traveling during the Holy Week. (READ: Tips for Holy Week commuters)
In a press briefing on Thursday, March 22, PCG chief Rear Admiral Elson Hermogino said pre-departure inspections will be done while Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) personnel will board ships for the inspection of passengers.
All attached agencies under the Department of Transportation will be running on 24/7 operations, with personnel manning hotlines and passenger desks available for those with concerns.
Social media accounts will also be active for real-time reporting and information dissemination.
Transportation officials are expecting travels to and from provinces to start as early as Saturday, March 24, and to peak by Holy Wednesday, March 28.– Rappler.com
See the Holy Week schedules here: