The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) has intensified its security operations as the 39th MassKara Festival officially opens tonight at the Bacolod Public Plaza.
Chief Insp. Sherlock Gabana, city police public information officer, said the Bacolod police has been on heightened alert since Oct. 1 in preparation for the 21-day festivity.
Starting today, 50 percent of the 2,033 security personnel assigned for the MassKara Festival have been deployed to secure the festival sites.
Yesterday, Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, acting city police director, led the pre-deployment briefing and accounting of the initial augmentation personnel from the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas at the BCPO grounds.
In a press briefing days before the festival opening, Ebreo said the Bacolod police and other agencies tasked to secure the festival want “to ensure that MassKara 2018 will be more peaceful than MassKara 2017.”
He added that a gun ban is set to be enforced for the duration of the festival while mobile phone signals will also be shut down during the weekend highlights.
Ebreo said troops will secure the three main festivals sites – the Bacolod Public Plaza, Lacson Tourism Strip, and Bacolod City Government Center grounds, as well as other areas frequented by visitors.
During the opening rites on Monday night, Mayor Evelio Leonardia will lead city officials in the opening of the food and beer kiosks as well as in the cutting of Bacolod’s 80th anniversary cake.
A fireworks and special effects show will cap the kick-off event.
The 2018 MassKara Festival, which coincides with Bacolod’s 80th founding year, will have its highlights on October 26-28.
The main events include the Grand Children’s Party, Nights of Mardi Gras, Tanda! Sing Na, Dance Pa, Magical MassKara, Drum Beating Contest, MassKara Fashion Show, MassKara Faces: The 1st MassKara Fantasy Make-up Competitions, Sadya ang MassKara with Mayor Bing National Fireworks Competition, MassKara Festival Queen pageant, Electric MassKara, and the much-anticipated Street and Arena Dance Competitions.
The Electric MassKara Performing Floats Competition will be held on Oct. 26-27, and the Street and Arena Dance Competition-School Category on October 27.
The Street and Arena Dance Competition-Barangay Category will be held on October 28.PNA