The Philippine National Police and the Department of Tourism are set to deploy specially trained police units in Cagayan de Oro City and 13 other major tourist destinations in the country to secure and assist tourists.
Tourist police units would be set up under the PNP-DOT program Tourist Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection (TopCop).
Aside from Cagayan de Oro, the special units will also be set up on Boracay Island and in Metro Manila, Cebu, Camarines Sur, Baguio City, Davao City, Zambales, Bohol, Puerto Princesa City, Camiguin, Cagayan Valley, Negros Oriental and Ilocos Norte.
The tourist police units, except the existing Boracay Special Tourist Police Office, will be patterned after the Bohol Tourist Police Unit, which has seven-member police teams assigned to tourist destinations on the island.
Tourist assistance centers staffed by a composite team from the PNP, the DOT and the local government will also be set up in the tourist destinations.
In police stations at the 14 tourist sites, tourist assistance desks will be organized to provide assistance to tourists.
The tourist police units will be organized from the existing police units and later transformed into a separate structure as the National Operational Support Unit.
The policemen will undergo training on tourism and dealing with tourists. The training would include lectures on peace and order and tourism, tips on acting as tourist guides, customer service, cultural sensitivity and language courses.
The tourist police will wear light blue collared shirts and dark blue pants or shorts for beach destinations.
The PNP and DOT launched the program last December through the signing of a memorandum of agreement