No Santa, please: Mall, hotel security guards told not to wear costumes

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 07 2018 05:25 PM

MANILA - They gotta find out who's naughty or nice, but not while in a Santa Claus or any Christmas-related costume.

Malls and hotels' security personnel have been told not to wear any Santa outfit or costume, following complaints from concerned citizens, said Superintendent Jaime Santos, officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation (PNP-SOSIA) Enforcement Management Division.

The order comes after a mall in Quezon City was caught deploying guards wearing a costume similar to Vatican Swiss guards, said Santos.

“We received reports from concerned citizens kung bakit mayroong malls na naka-costume yung mga nandoon sa mga pagpasok o sa entrance. Kaya nagpagtupad agad ang ating Chief SOSIA ng operation to verify the complaint,” Santos said.

Santos said security personnel must only wear their prescribed uniform, and that guards must be focused on securing mall goers and not be deployed for entertainment.

Santos said not wearing the prescribed uniform is also a security risk, especially when guards lose access to their guns because of the costume. 

“Unang-una, mataas yung security risks niya na maaaring gamitin or gayahin ng mga grupo na gustong gumawa ng krimen sa loob,” Santos said.

[There is a hight security risk. They may be imitated by some groups, or by those who are planning to do some crime.]

PNP-SOSIA also said this will also confuse the public during emergency situations. 

“Kapag may mga emergencies na kinakailangan ang presensiya at tulong nila hindi sila lalapitan dahil ang alam nila, ordinaryong employee,” Santos said.

[When there is an emergency, people will not approach them, thinking they might be just ordinary employees.]

PNP-SOSIA asked the security agency of the mall in Quezon City to pay the fine of more than P400,000 for the uniform violation and other offenses. 

“Umabot ng halos more than P400,000. Ang daming violations committed, expired DDO, walang license to exercise security profession, tsaka yung tinatawag na unprescribed uniform. Mataas kase ang penalty noon,” Santos said. 

“Kapag naging recidivist sila o habitual at hindi nila pinakikinggan ang aming sanction sa kanila ang mangyayari niya ay mag oorder ang chief SOSIA na i-suspend na ang kanilang license pati yung mismong operator,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Bernard Banac, SOSIA Assistant Chief, warned that petty crimes like "salisi," pickpocketing, and shoplifting will be prevalent this season. 

The buddy system will be strictly implemented especially in mall entrances and exits, he said.