by Gumamela Celes Bejarin
The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Enrique Tolentino assures that they are doing their best to enforce campus security.
After the incident at Flatrocks last week, where two UPLB students were found dead, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) will impose stricter security measures.
Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that the place where the two students decided to trek is supposed to be off-limits. The signage there was apparently stolen and vandalized by some people at the Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR).
The OVCCA is planning to put up a signage that cannot be easily stolen and vandalized like rocks.
At the checkpoint, the hikers will also be required to leave their IDs or valuables that they can retrieve once they log out. The measure will be done so that the hikers will be obligated to log out.
According to Vice Chancellor Tolentino, the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) is doing an investigation as to why the forest guards failed to check that the two students were not able to log out.
Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that the MFR is not easy to secure since the area is very big. He added that it is very difficult to guard because there are many entry and exit points. “We have a very big task,” he said.
There is also a proposal that hikers should be accompanied by tour guides. Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that extra fees may be charged, but that is all for the hikers’ security.
MFR was closed for the mean time. Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that they will be implementing the new regulations once they open the MFR.
“We are hoping to have something before the year ends,” said Vice Chancellor Tolentino.
Vice Chancellor Tolentino added that while the incident is very unfortunate, he would still say that it is safe in the campus.