Police strengthen efforts to protect Boracay, Carabao islands
BORACAY, Philippines – The Police Regional Office (PRO) in Western Visayas has strengthened security efforts to protect Boracay Island and Carabao Island with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on security cooperation.
The proximity and strategic location of Carabao Island (or Hambil for locals), which is 40 minutes away by boat from Boracay Island, is crucial in the stronger cooperation and coordination between Malay, Aklan, and San Jose, Romblon.
The task force is a security cluster comprising personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Navy, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, Bureau of Immigration, and the Philippine Army.
It has security coverage on the municipalities of San Jose, Romblon; Malay, Nabas, Ibajay and Buruanga, Aklan; and part of northern Antique.
"We should protect Boracay from outside Boracay. With the signing of [the] MOU, it will formalize the cooperation of security forces and marketing of Hambil as a tourist destination," said Cambay, also the PRO-6 deputy regional director and MBPTF site commandeer. (WATCH: Police patrols along Boracay's White Beach)
Cambay urged Hambil tourism officers to promote the destination to lessen population density and reduce crimes in Boracay Island.
The joint cooperation specifically hopes to attain the objectives of MBPTF and the Boracay inter-agency task force in rehabilitating Boracay Island with no major incidents.
Under the MOU, security forces will provide logistical support, and human and other resources in the joint conduct of anti-criminality and public safety operations, such as serving of warrants, hot pursuit, search and rescue, anti-terrorism and anti-drug campaigns.
The MOU was signed between San Jose municipal police station Chief Inspector Ruel Firmo and Malay municipal police station Senior Inspector Florante Sugian II, and witnessed by Cambay, San Jose mayor Ronnie Samson, Boracay Task Group Rear Admiral Leonard Tirol, and Romblon police provincial director Senior Superintendent Leo Quevedo.
So far, police have monitored no imminent terrorist threats in Aklan, as security forces intensified the outer and inner border controls in nearby provinces, as well as sea patrols along the coastlines of Boracay.
Police also noted the smooth transition and unhampered operations in the delivery of government services in Caticlan, Balabag, Yapak, and Manoc-Manoic at the start of Boracay's 6-month closure. – Rappler.com