The Philippine National Police (PNP) has laid out elaborate security plan to ensure the safety of the 247 participants in this year’s Miss Universe pageant in Pasay City.
Senior Supt. Emmanuel Licup, a member of the Security Task Force for Miss Universe 2016, said the PNP will observe security measures that were imposed during the January 2015 visit of Pope Francis and the November 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit.
Licup, however, stressed the PNP has not monitored any specific threat against the prestigious pageant.
“We don’t have direct threat but our monitoring is continuous,” Licup said.
According to Licup, the PNP will deploy some 1,300 policemen to ensure the safety and security of the 247 participants, including the candidates and their relatives, organizers, judges and others.
He said they will also coordinate with other government agencies such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Health, Philippine Coast Guard and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency for other concerns regarding the pageant.
Licup added an intelligence fusion center will be set up where intelligence information can be shared among concerned agencies involved in the international event.
He said the Police Security and Protection Group will serve as close-in security to the candidates while personnel of the Highway Patrol Group, Airport Security Group, Intelligence Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and other police units will form part of the security team.
Licup said one police escort will be tasked to secure four candidates during visits to destinations which include Vigan City, Baguio City, Boracay, Cebu, Batangas, Davao and in parts of Metro Manila such as the SMX at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Solaire, Okada Hotel, City of Dreams, Hyatt and Entertainment City.
He said they will be compelled to assign one policeman for each candidate during the participants’ free time.
“The PNP will spearhead security arrangements in all places of events. From the airport, we will provide route security and secure them in their billeting places and tourist destinations…We will be strict with their movements,” Licup said.
He added since the Miss Universe pageant is one of the most prestigious, with following all over the world, it will be a good platform for the Philippines to show its beauty to the whole world.
“All eyes will be on the Philippines, rightfully we will take this opportunity to showcase the country as a tourist destination. Not only that, the peace and order situation of the country will be highlighted,” he said.
Licup said signal cutoff in areas where the candidates will visit has not yet been discussed during their meetings.
“We will come up with a final security plan by tomorrow (Wednesday). Hindi pa naming napag-uusapan ang pag jam ng signal,” he added.
Licup said there will be no special budget for the PNP for this event.
“We are just relying on our regular budget but we can always request additional funds for reasonable expenses for security,” he added.