By Jennifer P. Rendon
As of 6 p.m. on Jan. 28, the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) has not logged a single major incident in the weeks-long celebration of the Dinagyang Festival 2024.
It was something that ICPO and the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 have worked, wished, and prayed for – a safe and secure Dinagyang festivities.
Resources and personnel – from the PNP, other law enforcement agencies, advocacy and emergency groups, and force multipliers – were deployed all around the metropolis just to secure scores of thousands of revelers, devotees, and residents.
But not everything was a bed of roses.
Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief, admitted that there have been some challenges, one of which was the availability of resources.
Coronica did not go into details but said it has something to do with managing the deployment and logistics for a large number of personnel.
It was gathered that this year’s Dinagyang saw the deployment of 8,601 members of the security forces.
The security forces are composed of members of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Army, and other force multipliers.
They formed part of the Site Task Group (STG) Dinagyang 2024.
The 4,080 STG personnel included those from the PNP, other law enforcement agencies, and emergency response team.
The number includes 1,718 police augmentation personnel and 4,521 force multipliers.
“We also have a bigger crowd in this year’s Dinagyang. We have to secure several areas given that there have been 77 events, 16 of which are considered as major events,” he said.
He said that the presence of celebrities, Manila-based bands, and even politicians has been a come-on to visitors.
Coronica said they have to secure several event areas.
But despite the bigger crowd, the ICPO only registered a single case each of physical injury, theft, and arrest in violation of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Act) from Jan. 25 – 28.
“Aside from our personnel and force multipliers, we laud the support and help of the augmentation forces for making this year’s Dinagyang a safe and peaceful one,” Coronica said.