Dela Rosa: Security measures for Holy Week in place

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 11) - Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa inspected security measures in transport terminals on Tuesday and said he's satisfied with them. He added, terrorists would find it difficult to carry out attacks with that kind of security in place.

"Kailangang makita ng taumbayan na sila ay pinangangalagaan ng kanilang kapulisan. At doon sa may balak na gumawa ng masama ay magdadalawang isip sila. Mag-isip-isip sila dahil seryoso ang ating kapulisan sa pagganap ng security measures," dela Rosa said amid his inspection.

[Translation: The public has to see that policemen are looking out for their safety. And to those who plan on causing trouble, they should think twice before doing so. Our policemen are serious with the enforcement of security measures.]

The PNP Chief oversaw preparations done for the Holy Week, to cope with the expected high volume of Filipinos travelers going to provinces.

Read more: Holy Week exodus: Long queues at NAIA; most bus trips fully booked

Police preparations included a bomb threat simulation in the Araneta Center Bus Terminal, with officers using a robot to defuse the prop bomb.

Dela Rosa also checked the security of the MRT, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, the Baclaran Church, and the Manila Port Harbor.

Along with the protocols, the PNP Chief reminded the public to remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activities in their area.

"As I have said, hindi foolproof itong ating security set-up, 'yung sistema natin hindi foolproof. Masingitan kung masingitan pa rin kung talagang nagbabalak sila at ang mga tao natin ay magrerelax. Pero mahihirapan sila," dela Rosa said.

[Translation: As I have said, our security set-up is not foolproof. Terrorists can slip through the security protocols if they wanted to, and if the public relaxes. But they'll have a hard time.]

More people, more legwork

Manila International Airport Authority said they are expecting the peak of passenger traffic between tomorrow and Thursday.

"For the past two days nag-total na tayo ng 133,000 today as against 118,000 last year. 'Yung period din ngayon," Lina said. "Pero totally mataas pa rin tayo ng mga 10 to 15,000 passengers compared [to] last year," Officer-in-Charge of MIAA Operations Octavio Lina said.

Lina added that the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB Passenger Rights Hotline will be available to address any passenger concerns. Travellers may call 165-66 for advice.

CAB's Legal Division Chief Atty. Wyrlou Samodio said the hotline complemented 30 nationwide passenger rights assistant desks in all major airports to aid an estimated 42 million travelers yearly.

But in the bus terminals, the volume of passengers declined by 60 percent from last year-from 8188 passengers in 2016's Palm Sunday, it has gone down to 2982 this Palm Sunday.

Because of the opening of the new Araneta Bus Port, the number of buses picking up passengers at the old terminal has decreased from 311 buses in 2016 to only 122 in 2017.

With the influx of passengers, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Teodoro Pascua also inspected stores around the terminals to make sure passengers are not overcharged for food and beverages.

DTI issued notices of violation to some stores that failed to post price tags and the price lists of their products.

CNN Philippines Correspondents Makoi Popioco and Isabella Montano contributed to this report.