PNP to deploy 23,000 cops to secure safe balik-eskwela

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 17) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy around 23,000 police personnel nationwide to ensure public safety as the new school year starts on Monday, August 22.

In a public briefing on Wednesday, PNP spokesperson Jean Fajardo said the agency, with regard to its back-to-school security preparations, has coordinated with school administrations and local government units since last week of July.

She added that PNP has been sending out policemen to secure the vicinities of educational institutions.

Cops will also be stationed at transportation hubs and other places where students could converge so as to protect them from various forms of possible danger or threat.

Fajardo also assured that PNP COVID-19 patrol officers will make the rounds to guarantee that minimum public health standards against COVID-19, such as the proper wearing of face masks and physical distancing, are enforced in the vicinities of schools.

Meanwhile, the PNP has put up police assistance desks near schools to address security concerns of students, parents, and guardians.

Fajardo mentioned that PNP also contacted school administrations regarding their crime information drive that aims to educate students on crime prevention, as well as on bullying, illegal drug use, and matters related to crime organizations.

“To make sure po na ang ating kabataan ay sa pag-aaral lang po nagco-concentrate at hindi po sila ma-sway at ma-recruit ng possible criminal and other front organization dahil ito (balik-eswkela) yung ginagamit nilang opportunities para makarecruit ng kabataan,” the PNP official said.

[Translation: Since the school is being used to recruit young people for underground activities, we're here to make sure that they get to concentrate on their studies and not be swayed or be recruited by possible criminal and other front organizations.]

As of Wednesday morning, the Department of Education has registered over 21.8 million enrolled students for the school year 2022-2023.