August 11, 2001, Inquirer, Palawan resorts put up own air force, by Norman Bordadora, Inquirer News Service, Posted: 11:48 PM (Manila Time)
IF the inadequately equipped Philippine Navy cannot ensure peace in Palawan's beaches, private resort owners will set up their own air force to help shoo away Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
The Palawan Tourism Council is in the process of commissioning helicopters to help the Navy patrol the province's beaches, particularly the small island resorts around the main island.
"While it is the government's responsibility to provide a security umbrella for all, the private sector is willing to support the government at least to augment its limited resources," said Alberto Lim, president of the tourism council.
The private sector has agreed to undertake several initiatives on its own, one of which is the commissioning of at least two helicopters to patrol Palawan and the islands around it, Lim said.
The council met earlier this week in Puerto Princesa to discuss enhanced security precautions to reassure foreign and domestic travelers that their lives would be safe in Palawan.
Lim also reported that the tourism council has agreed to set up a communications network that will soon link all tourist resorts, provincial and municipal governments and government security agencies.
"(Other measures) will be the deployment of additional security personnel and special training of resort security and staff, especially in the island-based resorts," Lim said in a statement.
The head of the tourism council added that the PTC will increase the scope of their patrols of various tourism destinations in the province in coordination with the police.
"The private sector will also encourage the community to be involved in information gathering and surveillance, especially at the barangay level," Lim said.