By Chito A. Chavez
The Philippine government, this year’s host of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure its successful hosting of the event.
Preparations for the ASEAN Summit have leveled up, according to the ASEAN Committee on Security, Peace and Order, and Emergency Preparedness and Response (CSPOEPR).
P/Chief Supt. Nestor Bergonia, head secretariat of the CSPOEPR, said that aside from the deployment of more security and public safety personnel to key strategic areas in Metro Manila, Pampanga and Bulacan, the monitoring, operational and logistical capabilities were upgraded to ensure a safe and peaceful summit.
“The government deployed more troops and poured in more resources for the upcoming summit. We have also been preparing for this for more than one year already because there are at least 20 heads of states who are attending the summit and the area of security coverage is wider unlike in the 30th ASEAN Summit when everything is concentrated in Metro Manila,” said Bergonia.
On the other hand, ASEAN Synchronized Communications Head, Director Francisco R. Cruz expressed his appreciation to local government units for providing the necessary support during the ASEAN summit in terms of lending logistical requirements such as patrol vehicles and ambulances.
The CSPOEPR head secretariat also toured the members of the media at the Multi-Agency Advisory Coordination Center (MACC) located in Pasay City.
He said the MACC is the nerve center of operations of the ASEAN CSPOEPR where all 21 member agencies are represented and working 24/7.
The MACC will also monitor the movement of delegates from their arrival at the airports to their designated hotels, to the summit venues and to all other engagement areas.
The MACC has a giant LED wall with large monitors showing real-time CCTV feeds on major thoroughfares, airports, designated hotels, and summit venues; an information processing room; meeting rooms; a media nook; and a security counterpart operations room.
Bergonia also said that there are four functional groupings that are operationalized for the summit: Joint Task Group (JTG) Leaders Security composed of the Presidential Security Group to secure the heads of states and their spouses; the JTG Security that will manage the immediate vicinity, including billet, venue and routes; the JTG Emergency Preparedness and Response which is responsible in responding to emergency calls especially natural calamities; and the JTG Peace and Order that will secure the outer perimeters.
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