January 12, 2018

ILOILO City – Classes in public schools – all levels – are suspended this afternoon. The Dinagyang Festival 2018 will have an opening salvo.

It will test the Iloilo City Police Office’s (ICPO) security measures for the festival, said Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas, city police director.

Around 200 policemen would be mobilized.

The cancellation of classes will spare students and teachers from inconvenience, according to Mayor Jose Espinosa III.

Some policemen would be helping the city government’s traffic auxiliaries manage the flow of vehicles. Several mayor streets will be closed to vehicles.

The opening salvo is a preview of the Dinagyang tribes’ performances on Jan. 28.

“This serves as a dry run, too, for our security measures,” said Biñas.

He warned the public against petty street criminals such as snatchers, pickpockets and swindlers.

“Spectators have to be extra careful. Avoid bringing huge sums of money and wearing jewelry,” said Biñas.

There could be traffic congestion on streets that would be absorbing the volume of rerouted vehicles.

Private schools may or may not suspend classes, said Espinosa.

In previous Dinagyang opening salvos, students had a hard time going to and from their schools and were left with no choice but to walk a number of kilometers.

The road closures begin at 12 noon today although the opening salvo parade would start at 1 p.m.

Dinagyang ati-ati competition tribes will take the following streets that would be closed to vehicles:

* Mapa to Freedom Grandstand

* JM Basa to F. Caram Avenue or Iznart Street (toward the Iloilo Provincial Capitol)

* General Luna

* Mabini

* Delgado

* Quezon

* Ledesma

* Rizal Street

The following streets will be observing a one-way traffic flow this afternoon: Muelle Loney, from Rizal, La Paz, Drilon Bridge towards Quirino Bridge; Rizal, Lapuz from the Rizal statue towards Barangay Rizal, La Paz; J.De Leon, from corner Jalandoni Street towards Fuentes Street.

Public utility jeepneys are barred from entering the following streets: Ledesma, from corner Jalandoni Street to corner Mabini Street; Luna, from corner Huervana Street to Forbes Bridge; Muelle Loney, from corner Quirino Bridge towards Peralta.

The competing tribes seeing action are the following:

* Salognon – Jaro National High School

* Paghidaet – La Paz National High School

* Obreros – Bo. Obrero National High School

* Ilonganon- Jalandoni National High School

* Dagatnon – Ramon Avanceña National High School

* Panayanon – Iloilo City National High School

* Buntatalanit – Tiu Cho Teg Ana Ros Foundation Integrated School

* Pan-ay – Fort San Pedro National High School

* Amihan – Mandurriao National High School

* Tapasnon – from Tapaz, Capiz

The preview performances (between three to five minutes) will be in five judging areas: Freedom Grandstand, Iloilo provincial capitol, Delgado-Mabini streets, Quezon-Ledesma streets, and Maria Clara area.

The Dinagyang highlights are on Jan. 27 (Kasadyahan regional festival contest) and Jan. 28 (ati-ati tribes contest)./PN


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