Heightened security in retail shops urged

By JADE LOPEZ, Reporter

THE Philippine Retailers Association in Cebu (PRA-Cebu) is urging retailers here to employ heightened security measures in their establishments to improve business operations.

PRA-Cebu, a group of 80 Cebu-based retail companies, recently incorporated a talk on security in retail establishments during its first general membership meeting last week as it raised the need for businesses to be vigilant in situations that could lead to crime.

“If retailers are able to maximize security in their shops, not only will they prevent crime but increase their productivity, improve operations and enhance customer service,” said PRA President Melanie Ng.

Superintendent Pablo Labra II, Cebu City Police Office deputy director for operations, told retailers that because of the present crisis the Philippine economy is facing, many unscrupulous people have resulted to committing crimes such as shoplifting and robbery, which happen in retail shops.

“Because times are difficult now, these people (criminals) are getting more desperate. That’s why we are asking your help to help prevent crimes like robbery and shoplifting to happen in your businesses,” Labra urged.

Commodore Ceferino Dacanay, a retired official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, emphasized during the talk that the security is a shared responsibility that involves logistical support from an authority and collective understanding within the company or organization, including employees, to protect a retailer’s assets.

“Security is not a product. It is a process. If you just rely on security devices, you are creating false perception about security,” said Dacanay is also a security consultant of different private companies.

As a process, Dacanay said retailers and their workers are asked to come up with a security risk assessment, as well as formulate and implement cost-effective security countermeasures. Companies should also conduct an audit or assessment of the security measures.

Dacanay, however, emphasized that threats to security is not only limited to shoplifters and robbers but is present in dishonest employees.
He recommended the use of a three-tiered system that includes pre-employments screening to determine the lifestyle, integrity and character of applicants; capitalizing on effective security device; and ensuring transparency and avoiding double standards in the workplace.

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