DILG creates 25 more Tourist Police Units

MANILA, Philippines—Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said that 25 additional tourist police units (TPUs) have been established nationwide, including in Oriental Mindoro, to ensure the safety and protection of both domestic and foreign tourists in the country.

In a statement, Robredo said the creation of the 25 TPUs was made through a resolution issued by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) in keeping with the provisions of Republic Act No. 9593, otherwise known as the “The Tourism Act of 2009.”

Aside from Robredo, who is the concurrent chairman of Napolcom, the resolution was signed by Commissioner Eduardo Escueta as Vice Chairman and Executive Officer, and Commissioners Luisito Palmera, Alejandro Urro, Constancia De Guzman, and Nicanor Bartolome.

Robredo said the 25 new tourist police units are in addition to the 14 existing TPUs which were established in 2010 following a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and PNP.

He identified the additional TPUs as: Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (PPO); Cagayan PPO; Cavite PPO; Laguna PPO; Puerto Princesa City Police Office; Palawan PPO; Oriental Mindoro PPO; Camarines Sur PPO; Aklan PPO; Cebu CPO; Cebu PPO; Negros Oriental PPO; Tacloban CPO; Camiguin PPO; Cagayan De Oro CPO; Davao CPO; General Santos City; Surigao del Norte PPO; Baguio CPO; Manila Police District; Quezon City Police District; Eastern Police District; Northern Police District; and Southern Police District.

As provided in the resolution, each TPU shall be headed by a police commissioned officer with the rank of Police Chief Inspector and shall perform the following functions:

  • Enforce laws and ordinances relative to the protection of lives, properties and environment in area of responsibility;
  • Exercise the general power to arrest, detain, search and seize in accordance with existing laws;
  • Conduct regular patrol to ensure the safety and protection of both tourists and residents within his jurisdiction;
  • Coordinate with concerned police stations in monitoring and investigating all cases involving tourists, and take immediate appropriate action to resolve conflicts, among others.

Robredo said the existing Boracay Special Tourist Protection Office shall be restructured and renamed as “Boracay Tourist Assistance Center” which shall be placed under the administrative supervision and operational control of the Aklan Police Provincial Office Tourist Police Unit, while the Bohol Tourist Police Unit in Police Regional Office 7 shall also continue to exist and will undergo restructuring.

The same resolution also created the Tourists Assistance Centers (TACs) which will serve as a facility for tourist information services, call center, lost and found, complaints, paging system, agency coordination on tourism, and other tourists and police assistance.

The TAC will be established within the vicinity of international and domestic airports, major seaports and in tourist destinations which shall maintain 24/7 information desks and billboards, manned by tourist police duty officers detailed on a rotation basis in every regional, provincial and city police offices and station in the country.

The DILG chief explained that aside from TPUs and TACs, tourist assistance desks (TAD) will also be put up in police stations which are within the periphery of high tourism areas.

Robredo has enjoined concerned police regional offices, DOT regional offices and the local government units concerned to forge memorandum of agreement of cooperation, as well as to extend support on other administrative requirements for the full operationalization of identified TPUs, TACs, and TADs.

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