Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Saturday intensified police security in Divisoria, Binondo and Quiapo to keep late Christmas shoppers safe.
Manila Police District chief Joel Coronel deployed more policemen to the three busiest commercial districts as reports of children getting lost poured in amid the holiday shopping rush especially in Divisoria.
“For me, this is very ironic, and very saddening. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet, there have been reports of children getting lost in the midst of busy movement of the hundreds of thousands of people doing their Christmas rush shopping,” Estrada said.
Estrada advised shoppers not to bring children to crowded areas as estimates pegged the number of people who shop in Divisoria at one million a day.
Last week, Coronel said six cases of missing children in Divisoria were recorded. The youngsters were returned to their families.
“That is why we have increased police visibility, particularly in Divisoria, and also in Binondo and Quiapo, where a lot of people are coming in,” he said.
Two hundred additional policemen in Divisoria were deployed and public assistance tents where shoppers can ask for assistance, especially on cases of missing children, were put up.
Coronel has cancelled the vacation leaves of the 4,652 members of the MPD until New Year because of the existing terror alert in the country.
He advised the public to be vigilant, especially when shopping in Divisoria.
“Please refrain from wearing jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash. Bring companions as much as possible,” he said.