PPOC, PADAC bare solid security mgt, zero crimes against touristsMar 22, 2019
During their First Quarter Joint Meeting on March 18, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) reported on special event security management since January, revealing that there were no reported crime incidents committed against tourists in Ilocos Norte.
Having been the host venue for eight national events, including the Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) Meet, as well as the global Mister International Pageant, the province accommodated a total of 78,885 visitors or very important persons (VIPs). Included in this figure are 19 local events.
These show attainment towards putting Ilocos Norte on top as a premier tourism destination, not merely in terms of sites and facilities, but also in the assurance of peace, order, and security for visitors and tourists.
Last year, the province hit the three-million mark in number of day visitors.
The PPOC and PADAC also shared updates on provincial crime volume during the same period (January to March 2019) in comparison to previous years. Between 2017 and 2018, average monthly crime rate had been halved (53.84% to 22.32%); however, there was a slight increase this year, to 28.48%.
Nonetheless, there was a 36% decrease during the said time period in index crimes, which include physical injury, murder, homicide, rape, and crimes against properties. In particular crimes against persons dropped by 44%, most notably in physical injury (34 to 16 cases).
The councils also reported on the campaign against loose firearms, with a total of 21 operations conducted, 16 persons arrested, 15 firearms surrendered or confiscated, and 146 other items confiscated, such as ammunition and replicas.
On drug clearing operations, the PADAC reported a total of 6,449 surrendered drug personalities from July 1, 2016, to March 15, 2019. Of these, nine surrendered since January 2019.
To date, 520 or 100% of Ilocos Norte barangays have been "drug-cleared" by PADAC; however, 46% or 239 of these are still undergoing validation by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Overall, the councils assess that the province remains relatively "tranquil, with the absence of violent related incidents," commending the cooperation among the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), stakeholders, and members of the local community in crime prevention.