THE Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) has put in place “better” security measures to ensure a safe MassKara Festival from October 1 to 22.
Senior Superintendent Jack Wanky, acting director of BCPO, gave the assurance as he met Wednesday, September 27, with officials from other law enforcement units and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to discuss the plan.
During the meeting held at the annex building of the Bacolod Government Center, Wanky presented the contingency plans and course of actions as well as threats and hazards that may probably occur during the festivity.
“We lay down similar risks that were products of last year's festival situation,” he said.
Wanky said they will conduct simulation exercises at the Bacolod Government Center once they have agreed on the measures to be implemented in case of untoward situations.
“We came up with a plan and an execution that is a product of multi-agency efforts,” he said.
Wanky said they have not monitored threats while the festivity is approaching, based on intelligence reports.
Still, it does not keep them from continuously intensifying their security measures for possible rebel attacks and threats, he added.
The police chief said there will be insufficient personnel in police stations because most of them will be deployed in festival sites and streets.
Wanky said they have requested for additional 600 policemen from Police Regional Office-Western Visayas to augment the existing 650 policemen of BCPO.
More policemen will be deployed during the festival highlights from October 19 to 21.
Wanky said the BCPO will implement a gun ban for the duration of festival.
He added that they are continuously assessing if there is a need to implement cellular phone signal jamming during the highlights to avoid big threats like signal detonated bombs.
Wanky said they are already 95 percent ready for the festival.
Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil Jr., provincial director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said they will provide security to tourists and visitors who will visit tourist destinations in Negros Occidental.