Davao City on heightened alert for ‘Undas’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 Oct) – A heightened alert status has been raised over Davao City until after the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2, an official of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said on Wednesday.

A total of 2,000 authorities, 900 of them are barangay police, will be deployed to maintain peace and order in cemeteries and secure the barangays during the observance of All Saints’ Day and Souls’ Day.

Speaking during the AFP/PNP press conference at DCPO on Wednesday, DCPO spokesperson Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz said that police assistance desks will be put up starting Friday until Sunday to facilitate the manual checking of items of those who will come to visit the cemeteries.

The terminals, malls, and other areas of convergence will also be secured to prevent incidence of theft and robbery.

If visitors have plans to clean the graves of their deceased loved ones, Driz advised them to do it this early to avoid the crowd over the weekend. Furthermore, anything sharp such as cutting materials will be confiscated by authorities inside premises of cemeteries, she added.

She warned visitors not to bring inside the cemeteries guns, knives, loud sound system, and alcoholic drinks.

Visitors are also encouraged to observe proper behavior and avoid engaging in illegal acts such as gambling or any acts that will disturb public order, Driz said.

Those urinating in public and violators of the smoking ordinance will be apprehended.

“Even today, we are already monitoring what’s going on inside the cemeteries,” Driz said.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 spokesperson Supt. Antonio Rivera said they will be deploying 30 to 50 personnel upon the request of the DCPO to augment the number of authorities who will be dispatched over the weekend.

Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon said they have already laid out plans, one of them will be the mobilization of the agency’s assets to respond to emergency situations.

The 911 volunteers are being readied to be dispatched in cemeteries as first line responders, he said.

“Some of them will be called to augment to respond to possible casualties. These are volunteers who have capabilities of handling basic life support,” he said.

The Davao City Traffic and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) will deploy a total of 372 personnel who will facilitate the possible traffic congestion in some major cemeteries.

Speaking during the Kapehan on Monday, CTTMO head Sr. Supt. Rhodelio Poliquit said that the agency will field its traffic enforcers starting October 31, Saturday, when the bulk of the visitors are expected to flock the cemeteries.

He added that they will be implementing traffic re-routing during peak hours on Saturday and Sunday to prevent traffic congestion along the roads leading to and from the cemeteries but vehicles will be allowed entry during off-peak hours.

During off-peak hours at the Davao Memorial Park, one of the major cemeteries, he said the outermost lane along McArthur Highway going south must be utilized only for vehicles going inside the memorial park while the two inner lanes will be provided for vehicles going south.

All utility buses coming from Ma-a road must utilize McArthur-Sandawa-Quimpo Blvd while trucks will not be allowed to enter going south from going downtown, instead drivers are advised to utilize Sandawa Road-Quimpo Boulevard or the Diversion Road.

The loading and unloading area is designated along the portion after Alexian Brothers.

There will be a designated area for vendors at the shoulder portion of the lane going north a cross the cemetery.

At the San Pedro, Forest Lake, Orchard Memorial Park, Masonic Wireless, and Catholic Cemeteries, the proposed re-routing scheme is one-way vehicular traffic from Cor. Fr. Selga St. to F. Torres St. to Cor. Circumferential Road to Jade St.

Vehicles going to San Pedro Memorial and/or Forest Lake may take Jade St., Turquiose St., or Marfori Subdivision.

Vehicles will not be allowed entry from Cor. Sarenas Road to Fr. Selga St., to the road going to Catholic Cemetery.

All trucks and buses will not be allowed entry on Fr. Selga St. from Cor. F. Torres St., to Circumferential Road.

All pedicabs and tricycles will not be allowed entry on Fr. Selga St. from F. Torres St., to Circumferential Road starting at 1 p.m. onwards.

At the Chinese Cemetery, a one-way vehicular traffic from Cor. Sarenas Road to Gahol St. to Cor. Sarenas will be implemented. Drivers will not be allowed to park at the vicinity of the Chinese Cemetery.

All vehicles coming from the Bacaca Road going to Chinese Cemetery may utilize the Bacaca Road, turn right to JP Laurel Avenue, turn right to Gahol St., and then turn right to Sarenas Road.

At the Buhangin Memorial Park, one-way vehicular traffic will be implemented from Buhangin Milan to Cor. Cabantian Road to Mamay Road. A no entry policy will be implemented along Cabantian-Jehovah Road towards the cemetery, instead drivers may utilize Mamay Ext., turn right to CP Garcia Highway, and then turn right to Buhangin Road.

He said that they are not expecting much crowd on November 2, a Monday, because the visitors will report at work since it is not declared a holiday.