The crowded Roxas Night Market may soon be declared as another Maximum Security Zone. 

Task Force Davao Commander Colonel Consolito Yecla told media during the AFP PNP Corps Media Forum on Wednesday that they are planning to declare the Roxas Night Market as a Maximum Security Zone. The first one declared as such is the San Pedro Square.

Yecla said Councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta will start drafting the recommendation for the resolution declaring the nightly market area as maximum security zone for the consideration by the 19th Council.

“Gagawan pa lang ni Ma’am Mabel ng resolution for the declaration of Roxas Night Market as maximum security zone. Hindi ko lang alam kung next na council meeting,” Yecla said. 

Yecla said if ever declared under the maximum security zone, they will sustain the security measures being implemented such as “No Backpack” and “No Jacket” policies, water containers must be transparent and no label, and garbage bins should be transparent to easily identify if there are elements planted like explosives. 

He also said they will conduct anti-terrorism awareness seminar slated this Friday and Saturday (September 7 to 8) to vendors, push cart boys, tricykad drivers, security guards of the establishments near the night market, and the community living event those in the alley near the night market in preparation for the declaration of the night market as maximum security zone. 

The seminar will be held at the Task Force Davao headquarters in Sta. Ana Port. 

“The bulk of our activity now is to establish security measures by engaging the community like conducting anti-terrorism awareness seminar that will be participated will be those residing in the vicinity of Roxas Avenue (near night market) yung may mga maliit na daanan we already coordinated with them, vendors, tricykad drivers, push cart boys, security guards of the establishments operating in the area,” he said. 

The seminar aims to create awareness to the community, vendors, business establishments about improvised explosive devices (IEDs), strategies on how to prevent bombing, the culture of security, and the security system. 

Yecla said this is also to ensure that the community living or working approximately to the night market is working with them and will serve as eyes and ears of TF Davao when it comes to security. 

He also said that they will conduct inventory of the vehicles parking in the night market area. 

“At least alam namin yung plate number and part ng aming proposal ay magkaroon ng permanent security personnel deployed in the area,” he said. 

According to Yecla, Acosta messaged him through text that acting mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte is supporting the proposal. 

Last August 1, 2019, the city’s San Pedro Square was recently declared as maximum security zone through a resolution authored by Acosta, who is also the chair of the committee on peace and public safety. In the resolution, the maximum security zone is defined as an area which access is controlled through an entry point and limited to authorized, appropriately screened personnel ad properly escorted visitors, and monitored 24 hours a day and seven days a week by peace-keeping forces. 

During the recently concluded Kadayawan Sa Davao, TF Davao has implemented the said security measures ensuring a safe festivity.

Since the declaration of the security zone is focused during big events, Yecla submitted a proposal to the City Government of Davao to implement maximum security zone during the office and after-office hours.

“Dapat pag office hours may designated parking for the vehicles of the government employees at saka hiwalay yung mga private vehicles na bumibisita lang o may transaction sa city. Kasi if the vehicle is owned by a government employee bigyan natin sila ng responsibility na yung parking space nila ay sila lang ang makagamit. Yung mga private vehicles that have transactions in the city we will monitor and inspect them,” he said.

Yecla said also in his proposal is to designate an area for motorcycles only.