05 March 2010

Enhanced security seen at SBMA housing areas

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will be implementing enhanced security measures to better serve the fast-growing population of residents and visitors using housing complexes in the free port zone.

The move was in compliance with the instruction of SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza to maintain a high level of security in the zone and to safeguard properties of transients and residents.

Arreza also emphasized the need for enhanced security as the SBMA prepares for the peak summer season.

“We cannot afford to lose the credibility that makes the Subic Bay Freeport proud to be among the safest and most secure places in the country,” Arreza said. “So we have to upgrade our security system and implement better guidelines.

Arreza also noted that Subic continues to be a favorite tourist destination because of well-defined security and safety policies that are implemented by well-disciplined but courteous law enforcers.

Responding to Arreza’s order, retired Gen. Orlando Maddela, the head of the SBMA Law Enforcement Department (LED), announced the creation of new units to ensure full implementation of new and existing security policies in the housing areas.

“Most of these policies are already in place, but our LED Operations Group (LOG) is conducting a series of meetings with home owners to consult them on what else can be done to improve security,” Maddela said.

Major Vicente Tolentino, who heads the operations group, said that among the enhanced security measures to be implemented in the housing areas is the so-called Monitored Mobile Police Patrols program, whereby all security patrol-related activities are to be relayed to the department’s control center.

The LOG will also initiate "On-the-go" housing security coordinators who will be roving residential areas on 24/7 routines; posting of strict but courteous checkpoint sentry guards; and 100 percent security vehicle inspection.

Tolentino added that service vehicle drivers, as well as caretakers and residents, will be required to present job orders or identification cards before they are allowed to enter housing areas.

Housing area vehicle decals and stickers can be availed of at the Motor Vehicle Registration Office, while residents ID cards can be secured at the SBMA Office Services Department, formerly the Pass Processing Department.

Maddela likewise said that a “no loitering” policy shall be strictly implemented in housing areas, particularly during night time, and that even non-duty LED personnel will not be allowed to stay in the housing area without permission of the detachment.

The SBMA will also not tolerate illegal shanties and settlers in adjacent forest areas, Maddela said.

In line with the enhanced security measures, the SBMA urged residents and visitors to report any untoward event or suspicious activity to the SBMA-LED emergency hot lines, using 911 for land lines or 9111 for mobile phones.

The public may also directly call SBMA-LED detachments at 252-5346 (Kalayaan Area), 252-5347 (Binictican Area) and 252-5413 (Cubic Area). (SBMA Corporate Communications)