By Jennifer P. Rendon
If things go as planned, this year’s Dinagyang Festival 2024 will be one of the safest celebrations in years.
Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) director, said they already mapped out the deployment of police personnel and the security measures that will be implemented for the duration of the festival.
“As far as security preparedness is concerned, it’s all systems go for us,” he said.
Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, Western Visayas police chief, acts as the Site Task Group Dinagyang 2024.
The SSTG Dinagyang 2004 has three main operating Site Sub-Task Groups (SSTGs): the SSTG Security, the SSTG Peace and Order and the SSTG Emergency Preparedness and Response.
Coronica heads the SSTG Dinagyang 2024.
The city police chief said they deployed 2,446 police personnel during the festival.
Around 1,514 police personnel from provincial and city police offices will be formally deployed on Jan. 25 as augmentation.
Coronica said they have also tapped other law enforcement agencies and force multipliers for the purpose.
The festival has 77 events, including 16 “major” events.
Just like Bacolod City’s MassKara Festival and Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan Festival, the Dinagyang will also adopt the Major Event Security Framework (MESF) and Whole-of Nation Strategy for its security preparations.
Just like the previous in-person celebrations of the Dinagyang Festival, the police have enforced the suspension of the Permit to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR).
But there would be no signal jamming or signal shutdown, as recommended by the Iloilo City government.
Police have also discouraged the bringing of backpacks.
All deadly weapons and contraband are also prohibited.