Bacolod beefs up security for ASEAN-themed MassKara Festival

BACOLOD CITY — More or less 1,000 policemen will be deployed to secure the events of the MassKara Festival 2017 slated on October 1 – 22.

The Bacolod City Police Office as of Thursday plans to dispatch more than 650 policemen along with about 350 augmentation personnel from the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, Police Regional Office-6, and Regional Public Safety Battalion.

Force multipliers will also be assigned to help secure the  festival sites.

Senior Superintendent Jack Wanky, acting director of BCPO, said earlier this week, the security plan is 90 percent ready.

Among the security measures are gun ban and cellular phone signal jamming in various festival sites during the activity highlights.

This year’s festival, themed “Bacolod: City of Southeast Asia,”  celebrates the role of Bacolod in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia has said it means that Bacolod is not just a city of the Philippines, it now belongs to the ASEAN community.

“We will now interact with the rest of Southeast Asia,” he added. “It is time to think ASEAN when we plan for development.”

Festival director Eli  Francis Tajanlangit said in a recent press statement  the MassKara theme is also in celebration of the participation of Bacolod  in the Philippine hosting of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN this year.

On March 21-24, Bacolod hosted the 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible for Information at the SMX Convention Center while on August 8, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chose Bacolod as one of the 74 local government units to participate in the simultaneous ASEAN Landmark Lighting Ceremonies.

Leonardia further said:  “The integration of our country with nine other nations will mean that our horizons will widen, the playing field will be expanded, and we will have a new political and economic order.”PNA-northboundasia.com