With the reopening of tourism destinations in EV

TACLOBAN CITY- With the reopening of the tourism industry after more than two years of restrictions due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the police organization in Eastern Visayas has partnered with the tourism department to ensure the safety of tourists coming to the region. Police B/Gen.Bernard Banac, the police regional director, said that the move is in consonance with the goal of the administration of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., to make the tourism sector as one of the engines in reviving the country’s economy. “With the reopening of tourist destinations in the region, this program of PNP in coordination with DOT, will assure tourists and travelers, both foreign and local of their physical safety and security. This will also help promote a safer and secured tourist environment, which for one is the primary mission of the Topcop,” Banac added.
For this program, dubbed as ‘Enhanced Tourist Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection (Topcop),’ at least 400 police personnel have been trained as tourism police.
Banac said that having trained tourist police will also provide an added police security in areas vulnerable to crimes. Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes welcomed the assistance of the PNP as their office is now in the midst of reviving the region’s tourism industry hard hit by the pandemic. “The program also instills values in future tourist officers to help them become effective tourism front liners,” she said. With the reopening of the tourism sector, some top tourist attractions in the region have started to conduct major clean up. Among these attractions is the Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte with its local government unit closing the island known for its sand bar and clear and turquoise water, for the entire month of July.
In 2019, or before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kalanggaman Island was visited by more than 1.16 million tourists generating tourist receipt of P28.19 million.