The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is stepping up security preparations for the 2020 Bacolaodiat Festival from January 31 to February 2.
BCPO Operations Branch chief, Lt. Col. Lester Leada, said yesterday that he met with the event secretariat, which includes the Bacolod Traffic Management Authority, earlier this week to discuss security and traffic arrangements for the two venues.
The festival sites will still include the Lacson Strip and the Bacolod Government Center grounds.
During the festivity, more than 500 policemen will be deployed, and will be augmented by about 300 personnel from the Police Regional Office-6.
Leada said the Bacolod police will adopt some of the security features of the MassKara Festival in October last year, wherein crime incidents in Bacolod decreased significantly for the duration of the three-week festival.
“This will be in terms of border control activities to ensure the safety of the festival-goers. Our objective is still zero major incidents, reduction of eight focus crimes, and increase the level of confidence of stakeholders during the Bacolaodiat Festival,” he added.
In its 15th year, the Bacolaodiat Festival will be held a week after the Chinese New Year’s Day on January 25 but the annual welcoming of the New Year on that day will still proceed.
Earlier, Bacolaodiat Festival chair Oddette Ong Gomez said the date of the festivity is still within the 14-day Chinese Spring Festival, which is one of the several Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia.
This 2020, the Year of the Rat will highlight the metal rat believed to possess positive, confident, and adaptive characteristics.
Bacolaodiat is the city’s version of the Chinese New Year celebration led by the local Filipino-Chinese community.
In this year’s lantern dance competition, one of the festival highlights, eight groups will complete, including last year’s top three, Jojaju, Granadianz, and Rustylians as well as Bata Temple Warriors, Mersyans, Wild Rhythm, Choi Force, and Carlos Hilado Memorial State College-Alijis. (PNA)