By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Butuan City — Authorities had their hands full when an estimated 60,000 people swarmed the beach here Sunday morning to celebrate the Christian commemoration of Easter.
“Right now, we have our hands full even if we have around 50 police personnel deployed all over the beach as we estimate the people to have swelled to around 60,000 since early this morning,” said Police Capt. Russel Suyo, team leader of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) stationed in Masao Beach for the Easter Sunday celebration.
Suyo added that even amid the large number of people they have been able to monitor the entire beach with the help of force multipliers.
“While the number of people here have been massive, we have our force multiplier to help us out in maintaining peace and order while safeguarding the beachgoers. We have our Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Police, barangay personnel and security teams and other non-government organizations keeping a sure watch on the beach,” said Suyo.
The Police RMFB has two boats with outboard motors monitoring the entire Masao beach, while the PCG had another two boats with outboard motors monitoring as far as the town of Magallanes and Cabadbaran City.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Richeleue Jay Bernales pointed out that the PCG is covering a much wider area.
“We have a total of 25 PCG personnel deployed throughout the beaches of Butuan City, Magallanes, and Cabadbaran City. While it may seem over stretched, we are working closely with other teams such as with the coast guard auxiliary and the municipal and city disaster teams of the local government units,” said Bernales.