By Edan Sam Pancho & Shareen Anjali B. Warad | News Writers
Vol. XCI No. 2 — Aug. 7, 2019
“There is no failure sa [in the] security measures,” said Engr. Edgar Ygnalaga Jr., Buildings and Grounds head, after the threats the university faced last July 19, 29 and Aug. 2.
On July 24, the Safety and Security Committee of the university held a meeting in light of the bomb scare; Public Assistance and Security Office (PASO), City Vice-Mayor, City Risk Reduction Management Council and Dumaguete City Police were present. They discussed the urgent need to tighten the security protocols of the university.
Allegedly five days after adding security measures, a student was held at gunpoint
and robbed in front of Papaya Hall along Laguna, Silliman University (SU) on July 29. On Aug. 2 classes were suspended due to a “security concern.”
Regarding the SU student who was robbed, Ygnalaga said that the Buildings and Grounds already wrote to the owner of Papaya Hall for further security. Concepcion
Merto, owner of Papaya Hall, has already installed a 3-foot barbed wire along the wall,
which was bypassed by the robber. LED streetlights on the university also won’t be turned off anymore until morning. The security is costly but the safety of the students and staff must be prioritized, Ygnalaga added. Php 25,000 could be saved if the streetlights were turned off, Ygnalaga mentioned.
“The university did its best,” Ygnalaga said about the recent tightening of security measures. The measures require the students to wear their IDs for verification. He also said that vehicle and bag inspections will be conducted at all gates of the campus.
There will also be an additional police presence and SWAT in the campus area in
line with the upcoming Hibalag Booth Festival, Ygnalaga added. Hibalag will not be an “open-gate event” anymore and must require all people to submit to security inspections
in all school gates.
A separate meeting was held last July 26, with the Philippine National Police, Silliman University Student Government (SUSG), SUSG Committee on Student Organizations,
Student Organizations and Activities Division and the Office of Student Services advisers to discuss updates on the incidents that have threatened the security both inside and outside the university.
Aprille Roselle Juanillo, SUSG President, said that the security guards are doing their best to follow what was ordered [checking bags and IDs], “but these are only Band-Aid solutions,” she added. Juanillo emphasized that the security personnel needs equipment that will ensure a better quality of safety procedures.
Juanillo also advised students to be cautious of what they share in social media: “Spreading unverified information will only create an environment of panic and distress.” She encourages students to visit their guidance counselors for psychosocial processing on the recent incidents in the campus. “It is a must for us to keep our mental and emotional energies in check so that we can fulfill our primary order of business in the university,” Juanillo added.
PASO has tightened the security measures around the campus to avoid other threats from happening in the university. Four roving guards and one security guard per gate have been added.