Mayon SAFE TRAVELS — The Mayon Volcano in Albay province is Bicol Region’s top tourist attraction. The Department of Tourism in the region will soon deploy cops who are trained as safety officers, especially catering to tourists. (File photo)

DOT to deploy ‘tourist cops’ in Bicol

January 15, 2023 People's Tonight 236 views

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Tourism in Bicol (DOT-5) will soon deploy “tourist cops” in the different local government units (LGUs) as it activates its Tourist-Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection (TOPCOP) program.

On Sunday, Herbie Aguas, DOT-5 director, said the creation and activation of tourist cops are needed to assure foreign and domestic visitors that it is safe and more fun to visit the various attractions in the region.

He said it is high time for the LGUs to train and deploy their tourist police, noting the rise in the region’s tourist arrivals since the country began to open up the tourism industry.

“I’m just so happy that we have these TOPCOP training for our Albay Philippine National Police (PNP), with all those arrivals of our tourists right now that are very impressive in numbers going to Bicol,” Aguas said in a phone interview.

At least 60 Albay police personnel underwent a three-day integrated TOPCOP training from Jan. 10–13 at the Ligao City Hall.

It aims to enhance the tourism manpower capabilities and improve tourism front-liners’ performance in rendering first-rate professional service to the visitors.

“This training also aims to provide basic tourism concepts and an overview to PNP personnel who are designated as tourist police. This will also help them teach values in becoming effective tourism front liners and instill the role of tourist police among the participants who are assigned in the different cities and municipalities in the province,” the Albay Tourism Office said in a social media post.

“With the right training, our police will be equipped not only as safety officers but also as tourist guides,” Aguas said.

After Albay, he said they would go to Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte to train police personnel on the basic principles of tourist safety and the Filipino service brand.

The modules also include lessons on tourism awareness, values and character.

“(The) DOT will train them how to interact with tourists. They must also be familiar with the culture, tradition, and character of the place,” Aguas added. Philippine News Agency