LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN – The establishment and activation of a Tourist Police Unit (TPU) in the province of Pangasinan is on deck.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in its regular session on August 14, approved a resolution which authorized Governor Ramon V. Guico III to enter into and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO) for the realization of the plan.
As stated in the resolution which was authored by SP Members Marinor de Guzman and Jeanne Jinky C. Zaplan, the establishment and activation of Tourist Police Unit is an important collaboration between the Province of Pangasinan and the PPPO considering that it will enhance the “safety, security and protection” of tourists in the province.
The resolution disclosed that “the TPU shall be deployed in major tourist destinations in the province in order to provide and ensure a secured environment for all tourists and the local community in the province.”
It was stipulated in the MOU that “Pangasinan, through the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), is the primary planning, programming, coordinating, and implementing local government in the development and promotion of the tourist industry and the various cultural affairs concern in the province.”
In the MOU, roles and responsibilities of the Province of Pangasinan thru the PTCAO were enumerated as follows: collaborate with the PPPO on the identification of destinations, sites and events which are in need of PPPO personnel to ensure safety and security of tourists; provide necessary assistance and support for the set-up of Tourist Police Assistance Desk (TPAD) during special events conducted by the Provincial Government of Pangasinan; collaborate with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and other training providers in conducting tourism-related training such as, but not limited to, DOT’s Integrated Tourist Police Community Order and Protection (ITOPCOP) for the police force to equip them with necessary knowledge and skills in dealing with international and domestic tourists; develop and produce information, education and communication collaterals; conduct awareness campaigns and publicize the services provided by the TPU; jointly prepare a Crisis Management Plan with the PPO.
The PPPO, on the other hand, has the following roles and responsibilities: conduct province-wide ITOPCOP training for PNP in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Pangasinan (PGP), DOT and the Local Government Units (LGUs); collaborate with the PGP and other LGUs on the identification and recognition of cities and municipalities with tourist attractions or emerging tourist destinations in need of the establishment of TPU; collaborate with concerned LGU in setting-up 24-hour Tourist Police Action Centers (TPACs) in key tourist destinations for information service; establish TPAD with appropriate manpower complement; establish TPO; perform duties as patrollers, first responders, basic first aid assistance officers; conduct visits and inspections in all destination areas; provide quarterly report on tourist-related incidents.
PCol Jeff E. Fanged will sign on behalf of the PPPO.
(Ruby R. Bernardino/Pangasinan PIO)