Security measures tightened amid recent Taft Ave. incidents

Lasallians have become more wary of their safety following a wave of petty thefts along Taft Ave., prompting authorities to implement stricter security measures.

Lasallians have become more wary of their safety following a wave of petty thefts along Taft Ave., prompting authorities to implement stricter security measures. Safety incidents in nearby areas outside the Manila Campus have been the talk of the Lasallian community across social media platforms over the past months. This has been confirmed to be beyond mere word of mouth, as a string of petty theft incidents around the area by armed suspects on motorcycles have also been reported to the Manila Police District in late January.

In response, the USG led a meeting with the Malate Police Station, nearby barangay officials, and the DLSU Security Office, outlining courses of action to strengthen the security around the area. The Manila Police District also dispatched a mobile patrol around P. Ocampo St. cor. Taft Ave. in light of the said safety incidents.

A cross-campus concern

Among the existing safety measures to address possible dangers along Taft Ave. is the Task Force Safe School (TFSS), a joint security task force under the helm of Taft-based schools DLSU, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB), and St. Scholastica’s College that deploys security personnel around campus vicinities and holds information sessions on safety to students, barangay officials, and other relevant stakeholders. 

For about two decades, the TFSS has vowed to work with each other and with various government units. Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Cyril Ryan Lituañas, a DLSU representative of TFSS, highlights that these collaborations are being improved through the task force’s monthly meetings.

“We’ve been trying to establish collaboration work [among us] three schools, together with the PNP (Philippine National Police) and barangay officials in preventing, monitoring, [and] even investigating and apprehending criminal elements within the area,” Lituañas explains. “We make sure we discuss issues ‘pag may mga safety and security concerns. We coordinate that with the chairs ng mga barangay.”

Collaboration with the Malate Police Station is also utilized by the task force and its member schools, notes CSB Deputy Director for Center of Emergency Management Mark Henry Lapuebla.

“We immediately alert our partner police…through any means of communication and they respond. Actually, may visibility lagiyung police diyan kasi from time to time, we request for police visibility,” Lapuebla shares.

Moving forward amid current issues, CSB Vice Chairperson for Lasallian Mission and Student Life and former chairperson for TFSS Nicky Templo-Perez believes that strengthening these partnerships is the way to go for the inter-school task force. “The reality is the minute our students or our associates or our employees leave the campus and step out on the sidewalk of our buildings, the responsibility now belongs to the barangay, so there’s a need to strengthen our partnership with them.”

More police involvement

Alongside heightened police visibility along Taft, Police Captain Bryan Salonga of the Malate Police Station tells The LaSallian that they had established a group chat with the USG so safety concerns could be directly forwarded to them. That way, “para in case may sumbongkasi kami naman ang magbabasamadali namin mai-instruct ang mga on-duty patrol officer namin na mag-respond,” he says.

(…so that in case there is a report—since we are the ones reading them—we can easily instruct our on-duty patrol officers to respond.)

Salonga also reports that their station has been provided with more patrol officers by the Manila Police District to boost police presence along Taft Ave. and that the deployment of these new officers will focus on “inner avenues,” where safety incidents have reportedly been common.

“‘Yung mga biglang kukunin pagkain ng mga estudyante, ta’s meron pang incident nga ‘yung kinagat tapos meron pang parang hinawakan ang private part, so we will focus our deployment doon.”

(Those who would steal food from students, and there was even an incident where there was a student who was bit by one, and even one where a student’s private part was touched.)

Security measures along Taft Ave. are intensified because of a recent spate of crimes around campus.

Moves, calls for protection

Students express concerns about feeling unsafe around the vicinity of the University, especially in light of the recent incidents. Aubrey Razon (III, PHY-PMD) says that there are still several areas beyond the jurisdiction of campus security that do not have security coverage and are prone to incidents. 

Joane Isabel Alfane (III, AB-OSDM) cites her fear of snatchers along Taft Avenue and of kids along Fidel Reyes St. since some of them have tendencies to be “rowdy.” About a month ago, a now-deleted post on Reddit recounting being bitten in the arm by a kid in the area made waves across social media platforms, with some students narrating their own unsafe encounters near campus.

Given these, students have accustomed themselves to practices such as being more aware of their surroundings, holding tight to valuables, and preparing for self-defense to be safer.

“When I am outside campus, I try to be more alert, especially since I have to walk longer due to my condo being farther than the other condos around DLSU. I try to walk faster as well since it helps me go home as fast as I can,” Marc Wong (III, BS-MKT) shares. 

Sam Aniceto, a student from CSB, says that they ensure their safety by carrying a self-defense kit. Alfane also mentions equipping herself with “a personal alarm…which I can use in case of any safety concern.” Lastly, keeping valuables close to oneself or within bags appears to also be a shared practice.

Beyond these self-measures, Lasallians also call for enhanced security around the area. “Although some parts of Taft are outside DLSU’s coverage already, I believe extending safety coverage for the students is not something that they would regret doing as students will surely appreciate this,” Wong recommends.

This article was published in The LaSallian‘s March 2024 issue. To read more, visit

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