Sotto wants Dep’t of Public Safety in every LGU

MANILA – Senate President Vicente Sotto III has proposed the institutionalization of a Department of Public Safety (DPS) in every province, city and municipality to provide fully functional emergency response and traffic management system.

According to a statement on Thursday, Sotto filed the proposed Public Safety Act under Senate Bill No. 239, which aims to augment law enforcement, oversee the operations of private security agencies and security guards, clear sidewalks and public spaces of obstruction and mitigate the effects of disasters and calamities.

Sotto said local government units (LGUs) are at the frontline in providing basic services, so there is a need to enhance their capabilities to effectively and timely respond to the constituents’ needs and meet the demand for greater safety and security, better local traffic management and enhanced disaster preparedness and response.

“This measure also allows for contiguous municipalities and cities to jointly establish collective command and control centers and emergency response and management systems pending the ability of certain municipalities and cities to establish their own independent centers and systems,” he added.

Under the bill, the DPS shall be tasked to implement public order and safety laws and ordinances, in conjunction with the police and other national law enforcement agencies.

The proposed department shall be under the direct control and supervision of the provincial governor, city or municipal mayor.

A central command and control center and emergency response and management system shall be established to monitor and respond to various contingencies.

The DPS will also augment auxiliary traffic services, issue temporary terminal permits to public utility vehicles and manage public utility terminals and issue traffic clearance certificates to business establishments.

It shall also have the power to clear sidewalks, public parks and other public areas of obstructions such as unauthorized structures or fixtures and unlicensed vendors.  Filane Mikee Cervantes / PNA –