Businessmen in the Philippines should enhance their level of alertness instead of embracing a false sense of security.
This was the message of a multi-sector anti-crime group to business executives and other entrepreneurs on the eve of the implementation of a 5-month long election gun ban beginning midnight on January 13.
The A2S5 Coalition, which is composed of professionals from various fields, said the suspension of gun carry permits issued to private individuals as well as to off-duty police and military officers may only serve to embolden criminals.
On the talk show Practical Business last January 10, A2S5 director Mike Melchor said businessmen who are known to regularly transport cash and other valuables should make a special effort to change their routine.
He explained that changing routes when driving to work, to the bank or even when going home is a simple way to become less predictable—which in turn will make one less vulnerable to robberies and abductions.
Melchor, a noted security consultant and trainer, added that those who feel particularly threatened should also enable the GPS systems on their cars and their mobile phones.
Meanwhile, the Association of Firearms & Ammunitions Dealers of the Philippines (AFAD) said many of its sales staff will be constrained to go on unpaid vacation during the gun ban period.
AFAD director Dino Rodriguez said this is a bitter pill that they must swallow to cut operational costs during the 5-month period, when the sale of firearms is also prohibited.
He explained, however, that local firearms manufacturers will mostly be insulated from the ill effects of the gun ban since up to 90-percent of local production is exported.
The gun ban, which takes effect at the start of campaign season and ends when winning candidates are proclaimed, is intended to curb election-related violence in this highly politicized and polarized country.
Practical Business, which is aired over Philippine satellite and cable channel Global News Network (GNN), is hosted by Home Defense Journal editor Miguel Gil.