Cops, fire, jail personnel on full alert for Holy Week 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have been placed on full alert nationwide, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced on Wednesday, April 17.

"Criminals do not rest, so the DILG and its attached agencies must not rest as well.  The security of the people is a paramount priority especially during religious events such as the Lenten Season which is why the LGUs and law enforcement agencies must be on top of their game," Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

When an agency is placed on full alert, it means all its workers will have longer shifts and will be on call for emergencies beyond their already extended work hours. For cops, this means intensified intelligence operations, checkpoints, and searches across the country.

For Filipinos who will be traveling to and from their provinces for the holidays, this means tighter security checks at the country's ports and terminals. (IN PHOTOS: From churches to jails, Filipinos mark Palm Sunday 2019)

Año instructed the police to work with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in conducting anti-drug sweeps in transportation terminals. 

On Monday, April 15, PDEA conducted a surprise drug test for over 70,000 transportation hub workers and K-9 scans in a campaign it called "Oplan Huli (Arrest) Week." 

The BFP, meanwhile, has activated its Oplan Semana Santa and Oplan Lakbay Alalay, which involve firefighters pre-positioning themselves near places of convergence to respond faster in case a fire breaks out. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.