KNOWN for its high end shopping malls, luxurious hotels, and endless rows of skyscrapers the Makati Central Business District (CBD) is no longer just a place for work but for leisure lovers, party-goers, as well as local and foreign tourists.
However, despite mostly well-organized systems in Makati, the CBD has unfortunately attracted its share of bad elements, as any other first class municipality would. Among these are pick pockets and hold-uppers who have victimized some of the city’s patrons as of late.
In an effort to heighten its relatively tight security measures, particularly at the Ayala Center, a month-long security awareness campaign dubbed, “Oplan Ligtas Turismo,” is taking place this October, with the cooperation of Barangay San Lorenzo, the Makati Tourism Office, the Ayala Center Estate Association, the Makati Police, and security managers of the concerned establishments.
This significant effort came about as reports that many tourists have become prey to such crimes as the modus operandi of “Salisi” gangs in taxis, which were raised at the project’s media launch at the Raffles Hotel.
“Besides the business sector, nakita natin na foreigners ang pinakahigit na clients dito. Ang mga katulong natin ay private and public security guards and the barangay. With this partnership, makakaya natin na totally eliminate and prevent these [Besides members of the business sector, we have seen a great number of foreigners come to the city, and we will work hard to protect them with the help of private and public security guards and the barangay. With this partnership we can totally eliminate and prevent these crimes from happening],” said Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban of the Makati Police Central Office.
According to Nanding Diaz, security director of Raffles and Fairmont Hotel, most of the inputs in the awareness campaign came from experiences of the hotel security sector. Steve Cutler, former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Philippines, will lead the seminars.
“We will communicate with business establishments to nominate the security personnel that will participate in the seminars. We will also communicate with the PNP through the chief of police and the district director to make this training accredited. A certificate will be issued to make a security officer ‘tourist-protection certified,’ and after a set time, he or she will need when they apply for their renewal of license,” explained Diaz.
Through the seminars, participants will be trained to predict and detect criminal activities, profile criminals, and quickly mobilize police response.
Though initially intended to cover only Barangay San Lorenzo, constituents and foreign visitors, as well as community leaders are coordinating with City of Makati for the implementation of the safety program in the city’s high-risk areas.