Tight security in place for Dagupan’s Bangusan Street Party

DAGUPAN CITY — Tight security is now in place in Dagupan as the city is about to make another history today (April 30) with the holding of the Bangusan Street Party over an area spanning two-kilometer stretch of the Jose de Venecia Expressway expected to be mobbed by tens of thousands of revelers up to the wee hours the next day.

With more than a million people expected, eclipsing the more than 700,000 attendance the party registered last year, it could be hailed anew as the biggest party in the Philippines to repeat the same accolade it already received in 2009 from no less than the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The Jose de Venecia Expressway was already closed to vehicular traffic to give way to the street party which is expected to be swarmed by what may be described as a sea of humanity starting at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Mayor Belen Fernandez said since Saturday afternoon, more than 1,000 iron grills were already laid down at the party site where each people who bought grills from organizers will grill five kilograms of milkfish, including hot dogs, meat and vegetables which they will all partake as a family or group.

Stages for more than 20 famous bands from Manila were put in every available vacant lot along Jose de Venecia Expressway to provide off-beat music to revelers in one of the biggest culminating activities to the 2017 Dagupan Bangus Festival, set to officially end on May 7.

Recognizing this as a major security concern, the police and their force multipliers, personnel of the Public Order and Safety Office (POSO), members of the communications group and the Barangay Peace-keeping Team (BPAT) are not taking any chances.

Superintendent Franklin Ortiz, officer-in-charge of the Dagupan City police, said that aside from adopting strict security measures at all entry points leading to the party site, he had requested augmentation forces from the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office.

The police also reiterated its previous call for party goers to refrain from carrying backpacks so that they would not be inconvenienced when the police subject these to thorough search.

Ortiz earlier admitted the Bangusan Street Party is really a big security nightmare in view of the expected number of attendees, same as the crowd-drawing “Festivals of the North” on April 29 and the “Gilo-gilon ed Baley” last April 21.

Also banned is the carrying of intoxicating liquor and soft drink bottles which could be used to hurt other revelers.

Pista’y Dayat will continue on Monday (Labor) day with the holding of the “Pista ng Dagat”, marked by the rush to the Tondaligan Blue Beach by thousands of people from inland municipalities of Pangasinan and from other provinces. Leonardo Micua/PNA