COTABATO CITY -- Amid security threats, government authorities have established five guarded boat docks to prevent criminals and jihadist from entering this city and avoid Marawi City-like siege.
Cotabato City, which has a population of about 300,000 as of 2015 census, is traversed by various rivers used as waterways from other areas of Maguindanao.
It is bounded by Rio Grande de Mindanao in the east and Tamontaka river in the south.
The establishment of boat docks is one of the security measures put up by the Cotabato City inter-agency Peace and Order Council chaired by Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, according to Halima Satol-Ibrahim, city information officer.
The boat berthing sites are on the riversides of Barangay Bucana, Matampay, Tamontaka, Kalanganan and Timako areas.
People are closely monitored at the entry and exit points for security purpose. Sayadi ordered the tagging of all boats, passenger vessels or fishing boats with numbers and identification marks.
Members of the Joint Task Force Kutawato, composed of military and police units will man the boat docks.
The task force was launched early this year to help secure the city from lawless elements, kidnappers and terrorists operating in Maguindanao.(PNA)