Holiday exodus begins
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Travelers returning home for the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day observances are expected to flock to various transport terminals throughout the city today.
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) sub-station commander, Petty Officer 1 Louie Campaner, said most passengers at the Bredco Port in Bacolod City, as of yesterday, were MassKara Festival revelers heading to Iloilo City and Dumangas. He noted, those traveling for the holidays are expected at the port by this afternoon.
“Fastcraft operators report their ships are not yet fully booked,” he added.
PCG is also strictly monitoring for contraband.
Campaner said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency deployed a K9 unit in order to prevent the entry of illegal drugs.
The PCG official added, travelers should refrain from bringing contraband items, including firecrackers and bladed weapons. However, those bringing firearms are required to show relevant permits issued by police and must adhere to conditions and regulations set by ferry operators.
Meanwhile, Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) director, Police Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, said they have set up police assistance desks at various terminals, including the Ceres South Terminal, along with churches and cemeteries.
He also requested Police Regional Office-6 to retain around 300 of its personnel originally deployed for the MassKara Festival as part of their augmentation force.
The BCPO director pointed out, they are still under a “full alert status,” but said they would leave it up to station commanders if they will allow personnel the day off. Typically, under such conditions, officers cannot go on leave./DGB, WDJ