THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has approved the implementation of the gun ban for the 15th Bacolaodiat Festival in Bacolod City.
Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, spokesperson of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), said yesterday they received the order on Thursday afternoon and this is a citywide gun ban from January 31 to February 3.
“The Bacolaodiat Festival will be on January 31 to February 2, but the gun ban will end 12 a.m. of February 3,” he said.
BCPO earlier requested the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas to suspend permits to carry firearms outside residence during Bacolaodiat Festival.
During the gun ban, Pico said only the members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies in agency- prescribed uniforms who are performing official duties will be allowed to carry firearms.
He said PRO-Western Visayas also approved the additional 250 augmentation personnel to secure the festival sites at the Bacolod Government Center and Lacson Tourism Strip.
Lieutenant Colonel Lester Leada, chief of the operations branch of BCPO, earlier said they will deploy a total of 800 personnel to secure the festivity.
“The objective of this year’s security plan is to have a ‘zero major incident’ and we will adopt some security features during the MassKara Festival,” he said.
Bacolaodiat was coined from the words “Baco” for Bacolod and “Lao Diat,” a Fookien word for celebration.
The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) will also implement a road closure along the Circumferential Road, downtown area, and Lacson Street from 5th Street to 13th Street.
The initial road closure will start from 3 p.m. and by 4 p.m. they will implement the total road closure in said areas as well as the truck ban at the Circumferential Road.
BTAO will also deploy a total of 180 traffic enforcers to the identified festival sites. (MAP)