CHIEF Superintendent Renato Gumban, acting director of Police Regional Office (PRO)-Negros Island Region (NIR), said February 8 that Task Group Bacolod is fine-tuning the security preparations for Bacolod City’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) meetings in March.

Gumban, who heads the task group, led the contingency meeting with the members of the 2017 Asean National Organizing Committee at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall.

The task group was formed to address the concerns on security, peace and order, and emergency preparedness and response.

“We are refining the plans because there is still a hitch,” Gumban said, adding that experts from the Philippine National Police main headquarters arrived in Bacolod to observe and correct the preparations.

He said they are 95 percent ready for the Asean meetings.

According to the schedule posted on asean.org, Bacolod will host the Asean Senior Officials Meeting, Joint Consultative Meeting, and Other Related Meetings on March 14-16, and the 15th Senior Officials Responsible for Information, on March 21-23

About 160 delegates are expected to arrive for the two events.

The Philippines’ summit hosting for 2017 coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Asean.

Gumban said that depending on the need, more than 1,000 policemen will be deployed, with the PRO-NIR getting augmentation from Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office and Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office.

By the end of February, simulation exercises will be conducted and will be followed by another on the second week of March. Members of the National Organizing Committee will participate in the next training.

Task Group Bacolod is composed of 21 government agencies, including, among others, the Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Tourism, Department of Health, and Bureau of Fire Protection.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier led the inspections to make sure the roads to be used during the Asean meetings are in good condition and free from illegal structures.