Over 2K security personnel deployed for MassKara Festival

A send-off ceremony of at least 2,949 security personnel was held on Thursday, October 5, at the Bacolod City Police Office led by its director, Colonel Noel Aliño, to ensure peace and order for the 44th edition of the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City.
[Merlinda Pedrosa photo]
A send-off ceremony of at least 2,949 security personnel was held on Thursday, October 5, at the Bacolod City Police Office led by its director, Colonel Noel Aliño, to ensure peace and order for the 44th edition of the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City. [Merlinda Pedrosa photo]

Some 2,949 security personnel will be deployed Friday, October 6, to ensure peace and order of the 44th edition of the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City.

Colonel Noel Aliño, director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), said they held the send-off ceremony at the BCPO Headquarters Thursday, October 5, but all security personnel will be officially deployed Friday in their areas of assignment.

These include personnel from BCPO, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat), Regional Mobile Force Batallion-6, Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Philippine Army, Maritime Police, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).

Aliño said policemen will be deployed in various areas, especially in the identified festival sites, around 6 a.m.

For this year’s celebration, the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation Inc., an organizer of the festival, has identified the festival sites, which are Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC), Robinsons Place Bacolod, Bacolod Public Plaza, Ayala Malls Capitol Central, The Upper East Megaworld, Old Bacolod City Hall, Lacson Tourism Strip, SM City Bacolod, and some civilian volunteers.

Aliño said policemen should report on time to ensure the safety of the MassKara revelers.

He said they also expect additional augmentation personnel from the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas during the highlights of the MassKara Festival.

He added that they expect "zero fatality" for this year's festival.

Aside from the MassKara Festival, Aliño said they will also double their efforts for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

He said that policemen were also tasked with monitoring the 61 barangays.

The MassKara Festival will be celebrated from October 1 to 22, and it's already been confirmed that the highlights of the festival will be attended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. along with First Lady Liza Marcos.

Meanwhile, the MassKara Grand Countdown Salubong will be held today at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds.

The opening ceremony will be led by Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and the members of the City Council with lots of entertainment, capped with fireworks.

It will also attended by Congressman Greg Gasataya and Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson along with other officials and guests from all over the province.

Jojie Dingcong, chairperson of the festival, in a statment, said it' s all systems go with all preparations in place to make this year’s festival even more exciting, bigger, bolder and brighter.

“We are bringing in the popular pop-rock band, The Juans, as our main attraction for the opening salvo. There will also be other performances by local bands, as well as three of the top winners in last year’s Arena Dance Competition,” he said.

Rodney Ascalon, director of the Salubong event, said the stage will be ready to showcase performances by 5 p.m. for the pre-show entertainment as well as games from our platinum sponsors that promises big prizes for those who will join the countdown.

He said the 15 candidates vying for the Miss Bacolod MassKara will also be performing along with some contestants for this year’s search for Electric Diva as part of the main show that will display snippets of what the people will expect to happen in this year’s MassKara Festival.

At midnight, a fireworks display will cap the Salubong followed by DJ Bien for the after-party celebration.

Moreover, Katherine Matiling, president of Bacolod Yuhum Foundation, said that they conducted the final interagency meeting on Wednesday, October 4, to ensure that all preparations, particularly for security, are in place as the festival kicks-off.*

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