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MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) is on full alert as millions of students return to school Monday for the first day of classes.
Senior Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesman, said all PNP units were placed on full alert 5 p.m. Sunday and have been directed to increase visibility in schools and other places of public convergence.
As part of "Oplan Balik Eskwela 2012," the PNP issued a memorandum mobilizing all PNP Regional Offices and National Support Units to implement a nationwide security and public safety plan to protect students from street crime and organized crime groups.
Local police units were told to mobilize foot patrol personnel for police visibility operations in school premises to prevent out-of-school youth and street gangsters from bullying students.
Local police units were also instructed to coordinate with concerned local government units for the strict implementation of safety regulations on public utility vehicles, school bus service that provide transportation services to students.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) was also directed to provide a security contingent at the central office of the Department of Education in Pasig City in anticipation of possible protest actions by student organizations opposed to the K to 12 Program.
Aside from providing security, the PNP in coordination with local government units will also strictly enforce laws and local ordinances concerning computer gaming shops, recreation centers such as billiard halls and gaming establishments, including establishments that serve alcoholic drinks within the perimeter of school campuses.
The PNP is also on alert for street crimes such as pickpocket, snatching, swindling, robbery/hold-up, and street-level drugtrafficking, Cerbo said.
He added that police patrols in the vicinity of schools will also be on the look-out for drug traffickers and violent street gangs that may infiltrate the ranks of students.