(MENAFN- Gulf Times) President Rodrigo Duterte has placed all concerned government agencies on alert for the Holy Week exodus to ensure that ports and terminals would be orderly and safe for travellers, a Palace official said.
In a radio interview, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr said Duterte ordered transport and security officials to work 'double time in the inspection of buses and ships to ensure their road- and seaworthiness.
'The president's order to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is to inspect all our buses and make sure they are roadworthy, Roque told dzMM radio.
'In our ports, the president directed the Coast Guard to work double time, ensure the seaworthiness of the ships, ensure there is no overcrowding that may lead to tragedies, he added.
Roque said Duterte also ordered the Philippine National Police to tighten security measures.
'And of course, the police must boost security measures. And we all know that there is still lingering threat of terrorism, he said.
'So, the entire government is on alert this Holy Week, the Palace official added.
As the country observes Holy Week, Roque called for the public's support and co-operation.
'Public support can be manifested through everyone's co-operation in the conduct of safety checks, security checkpoints, compliance with traffic regulations and maintaining complete situational awareness of their surroundings at all times, Roque said.
'Everyone is called upon to immediately report suspicious characters and unattended materials such as packages, bags and other objects that are out of place. With everyone's co-operation, we look forward to a solemn Holy Week, he added.
Roque said the president would still have some meetings and activities before the observance of Holy Thursday and Black Friday. The president will spend the Holy Week, as well as his birthday, in his hometown Davao City.
Holy Week last year saw Duterte embarking on state visits to three Middle East countries.
But this time, Roque said the president would stay home with his family. 'He will be in Davao. The president will just be in Davao this coming Holy Week. He will also have several trips after Holy Week, he said.
Holy Week this year begins today (March 25) Palm Sunday, and ends on Easter Sunday (April 1).
The president will celebrate his 73rd birthday on March 28.
Last year, Duterte marked his birthday 'quietly without fanfare. 'The president is merely at home during his birthday. Perhaps, he will hold a celebration after his birthday, Roque said.
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