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Malapascua resort owners agree to disarm security guards

| by: Roger Serna

Resort owners in Malapascua Island have agreed to disarm the security guards within their areas.

The consensus was reached in a public hearing presided by Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, also chairperson of the Committee on Tourism and International Affairs in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, after a foreign national died in the hands of his own guard.

Present during the public hearing were the resort owners, Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro, the town’s police chief, Provincial Board member Celestino ‘Tining’ Martinez III, the Vice Governor’s tourism consultant Patria Aurora ‘Dawnie’ Roa and Provincial Tourism Officer Grace Paulino.

Aside from disarming the guards, Magpale asked Provincial Police Chief Noel Guillamac to add more police personnel in the island. Presently, there are only two police officers patrolling the entire area.

Mayor Corro admitted that the municipal police force could no longer augment the police personnel in the island. The Cebu Province and the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) likewise pledged to construct a police outpost on the island complete with sleeping and bathroom facilities. These structures and a circumferential road were among the items in the Malapascua Development Plan made a few years back.

The possibility of hiring the barangay tanods in lieu of security guards was also brought up, considering that the proposal to disarm guards would push through, which, in effect would “render the guards useless.”

This, however, would depend on what Mayor Corro and the Malapascua barangay captain could agree upon. Resort owners will shoulder the salary of the tanods should the proposal be approved.