Security tightened at Mayon Volcano trail after hold-up incident

LEGAZPI CITY--City Mayor Noel Rosal assured tourists that security measures remain tight despite the hold-up incident that took place at Mayon Volcano on All Saints Day.

“The incident was an isolated one, I assure our visitors that though security measures are in place, we will see to it that no similar incidents would take place in the future,” Rosal told the Philippines News Agency.

Two robbers on a motorcycle took the cellphones, credit cards and cash of four female tourists on the trail around Mount Mayon on All Saints’ Day, police said Thursday.

The victims were identified as Libbylin Barra, 49, Katrina Barra, 24, and sisters Ma. Rhea, 37, and Ma. Rhachel Cayabyab, 24.

Chief Inspector Maria Luisa Calabaquib, Bicol police spokesperson, said the women were on board their respective all-terrain vehicles, accompanied by two guides when they were flagged down by the bandits armed with a handgun and a knife.

Rosal directed the ATV tour operators to employ additional security guards and tour guides to man the area and assist the visitors during tour sessions around the volcano.

Rosal also directed the Bicol police to assign personnel in villages where the Mayon tour is being held.

Supt. Eymaro Gomez, City Chief of Police, assured the public that security protocols are being implemented.

He added that there are presently six tourism cops trained to handle tourist visitors, and are deployed in tourist areas in the city.

Operators agreed to set up CCTVs including a drone as an additional security measure to protect tourists while on ATV trail ride along Mayon Volcano.

Operators also vowed to adopt a 2-4 ratio, wherein two tour guides would be assigned to man every four tourists engaged in ATV trail tours.

An ATV tour cruises a 2-kilometer trail that starts in Barangay Pawa and ends at the Mayon Lava wall in Barangay Mabinit, almost the height of a four-story building.

There are three operators managing the ATV tour in this city while nine operators man the ATV operations at the Cagsawa ruins compound in Daraga town. (By Mar Serrano, PNA)