Ordinance Number 12-2018 or the “La Trinidad Neighborhood Watch Program” authored by Councilor Roderick Awingan, aims to enhance and strengthen the cooperation, coordination and partnership between communities, the municipality, the barangays and the Municipal Police Station towards crime prevention.
Components of the Neighborhood Watch Program are the Bantay Paaralan or Eskwela, Bantay Kalsada and Bantay Barangay Patrol Action Teams (BPATS).
Municipal Police chief, Inspector Benson Macli-ing said this involves everybody’s participation and cooperation such as the community, schools, drivers, and tanods to achieve reduction of crimes or zero crime incidence.
Last week, teachers, students and the Parents-Teacher-Community Associations were briefed about the Bantay Eskwela. Schools are encouraged to organize peace and safety councils.
The Bantay Kalsada involves drivers plying the thoroughfares within the municipality who have access on crimes committed along the road, according to Macli-ing.
The role of BPATS composed of the barangay tanods is to report any crime they spot in their respective sitio.
Residential owners and home owners are encouraged to be vigilant of any suspicious activity in their neighborhood, although they are expected to secure their own place, and report it for proper action by the law enforcers.
The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will serve as the Command Center where the 16 barangays equipped with communication facilities will receive reports for dispatch to their personnel who will act on peace and security complaints, issues and concerns, he added.
During the launching activity attended by residential owners and homeowner association members, Awingan said the idea is to involve stakeholders and be invited and engage them to such events for them to have a sense of ownership and let them realize that they are part of the program.
A Manifesto of Support was forged by the attendees during the launching to attest their support in the implementation of the program which they find as an efficient mechanism in mobilizing the communities for peace and security.
Macli-ing said a system of communication and surveillance will be in place. Existing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be complemented.
The government and non-government organizations, the business sector, churches or the religious will also be involved soon to ensure peace and order within the workplace, he added.
Awingan hopes the program will be sustained even if there will be change in administration.By Susan C. Aro (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)