EditorialLessons learned

Lessons learned

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Like a scene straight out of the movies, not a few Dumagueteños were thrown into a panic when policemen appeared in their places of work and started looking for bombs.

Armed only with sticks to poke suspicious objects from a distance and with no body armor, the policemen put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the public.

Thankfully, the bomb threat was a hoax. However, our response did not go for naught as we may have learned a thing or two from that incident. We may have some of the best-trained bomb disposal personnel around. But sending them to an area where there is a bomb threat armed only with a stick and with no body armor is literally putting them in harm’s way.

Our bomb disposal squad would need a bomb-sniffing dog. It’s been said that it costs over P1 million to train and maintain a dog to sniff for bombs.

Thankfully, there are a few trained dogs in Dumaguete whose services may be rented, but it seems like no dog was used in Thursday’s bomb scare.

We also need to improve on our information dissemination. With only 20 minutes to react, the warning has to be out instantly. The challenge is how to spread the word without causing panic.

The Dumaguete reporters who covered the incident should also be commended for their professional handling of the incident. Unlike their counterparts in Manila who covered the tragic hostage-taking incident and who delivered a blow-by-blow account of the event, our journalists intentionally screened the information, putting out as little as possible to prevent panic among the parents and school children.

At most, the incident served as a reality check. We cannot really be complacent about our security in Dumaguete, even as we think of ourselves as a peace-loving people. There may be some elements who simply want to sow terror, which is not unheard of in some parts of the country. As such, security should be paramount on everyone’s minds.

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