Additional police augmentation for the security of the 40th MassKara Festival is expected to arrive in Bacolod before its highlights.
Police Col. Henry Biñas, Bacolod City Police Office director, said the first batch of about 1,000 police augmentation from Police Regional Office-6 has already been deployed in Bacolod.
Another batch of about 700 police personnel are to arrive from PRO-6, he said.
The BCPO had requested for about 1,600 police officers who are to augment the existing personnel of BCPO, force multipliers, the military, coast guard, and fire department that are on duty for this year’s festivity.
Revelers at the downtown area are being subjected to frisking, with police officers assigned at all entry and exit points.
Police Major Jovil Sedel, Station 1 chief, said sharpened barbecue sticks are not allowed around the Bacolod Public Plaza, one of the festival sites. Stall owners have been advised to cut the sharpened tip of the sticks they use in grilling barbecues.
As to bottled alcoholic beverages, Sedel said, visitors are allowed to drink but these should be consumed at the stalls only. They will not be allowed to roam around while holding bottled alcoholic drinks.
Backpacks are still allowed this week, but not during the highlights, Sedel said.
The 20-day gun ban meanwhile has alreadytaken effect starting 8 a.m. Tuesday, to 8 a.m. on October 27.
Police Lt. Col. Ariel Pico, BCPO spokesperson, said that all permits to carry firearm outside of residence (PTCFOR) are suspended for the MassKara Festival.
“Only members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other law enforcement agencies, who are performing official duties, and are in agency-prescribed uniforms, will be allowed to carry firearms,” Pico said.
The BCPO is still waiting for the approval of the signal jamming they have requested to be implemented on October 26 and 27, Biñas said.
He said the security plan they have prepared is comprehensive, covering all possible situations, including the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Visitors are advised to take care of themselves while enjoying the festivity, Biñas said, adding that if the public receive any information about crimes and other security concerns, they may report it to the police so that action can be done immediately.*
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