Church workers exempted from ‘no backpack’ order

Police Chief Supt. Marcelo C. Morales (File Photo)

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 clarified on Tuesday that church employees are exempted from the “no backpack” order implemented by the Davao City security forces.

Police Chief Supt. Marcelo C. Morales, PRO 11 director, said that the clarifications were some of the recommendations made during a recent consultation with the Archdiocese of Davao.

“We are going to give consideration to the employees of the church, especially those who will go to their respective office. They will be tolerated from bring backpacks,” Morales said on Tuesday at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

However, the police official said that exemption does not include “churchgoers” who still need to comply with the order implemented in the aftermath of the bombing inside a Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu last January 27.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier instructed all churchgoers not to bring any backpacks, big bags, bulky plastic bags and boxes in churches and places of worship in the city. Purses and small bags are subject to inspections before being allowed to be brought inside the church.

Morales repeated his plea for the public’s cooperation regarding the tight security measures of the city.

“As of now, we are on level 2 alert status, but still, we maintain our full status alert because we cannot be complacent,” he said.

Morales also said that regional office is now preparing for the upcoming 82nd Araw ng Dabaw celebration where more than 1,000 personnel will be deployed during the festival on March 16.