Drones to monitor festivity

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


PANAGBENGA Executive Committee chairman Anthony De Leon recently highlighted the use of drones to monitor peace and order during the Grand Street Dancing and Float parades this weekend.

Drones, an unmanned remotely controlled aerial vehicle, have been used for various activities in the past years which include taking photos and videos of mass actions among other festivities.

De Leon said the drones will be used in monitoring street crimes as it will be fitted with a camera that can be used in crime monitoring by the police.

A marked increase in pickpocketing, snatching and bag slashing are recorded yearly by the police during the Panagbenga festival highlights and using drones would help identify perpetrators and strengthen evidence gathering processes being employed by the police.

The police will also be able to identify bottleneck areas for vehicles ensuring prompt responses from the city government.

Aside from the importance of drones in peacekeeping efforts during the festivities, the drones will also provide a good picture and estimate of the number of spectators that will attend the annual flower festival.

Baguio City Police Office director Supt Jesus Cambay Jr. and Supt. Myles Pascual of the Traffic Management Branch earlier presented the traffic rerouting scheme that will be attended by the police for the coming parades.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said while it is a steep challenge for the police to maintain peace and order in such magnitude in an event, there are force multipliers from volunteer groups that will be lending a hand to the police in crowd control and ensuring the safety of the public.

Baguio City Police Office director Cambay also said they will implement an Incident Command System in the biggest crowd drawer of the city to prepare for worst case scenarios and systematically address concerns of the public.

About 120 BCPO personnel will also be deployed on February 24 to March 2014 on 40 shifts for the ‘Session Road in Bloom’ according to the BCPO.
Information from the police also showed some police outposts manned by uniformed police officer will also be set-up at Burnham Park near the Baguio Blooms exhibit area.

Some eight traffic control points will be set-up to maintain traffic in the city’s outer ring according to Cambay which include outposts at the Pines City Doctor’s Hospital, Pacdal Circle, Kennon-Military Cut-Off Road, Loakan-Kennon junction, Slaughter Area, Naguilian-Dominican Junction, Sta. Catalina Marcos high-way and Suello Marcos Highway Junction to assists motorists.

The parade route on February22 and 23 will start from Upper Session Road extension, Lower Session Road, Magsaysay Avenue, U-turn fronting Baguio Center Mall back to Magsaysay Avenue, Harrison road, Jose Abad Santos Drive to Athletic Bowl.

All vehicles coming from Kennon Road on the dates specified can take Military Cut-off and park at allowed roadside parking areas or take Governor Pack Road and park at the Baguio Convention Center, Baguio City National High School parking area or take Kisad road and park at allowed roadside parking area from Prieto compound to MH Del Pilar street.
Mayor Domogan also said several private parking spaces can also be offered by lot owners during the festival to further provide parking spaces to the public.

The area along BCNHS to the Japanese Garden will be used as parking for public buses, private buses will have to park at the old City Library.
Vehicles coming from Marcos highway can take Legarda road to Gen. Lim street or BGH rotunda to Kisad road or Military Cut-off or Gov. Pack road and park at designated parking areas.

The police chief stressed there will also be police personnel to direct traffic in said areas at the given dates.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 20, 2014.

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