KALIBO, Aklan – Senior Superintendent Remus Zacharias Canieso of Police Regional Office (PRO-6) has assured festivalgoers and devotees of Señor Santo Niño de Kalibo of their security and safety for the upcoming festival.
The world-renowned Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan kicked off its religious and cultural activities on Jan. 2. It will culminate on Jan. 20 with a pilgrims mass, the traslacion, a religious procession of devotees and caros, and torch parade of Señor Sto. Niño images.
Canieso, also the deputy Task Group commandeer, said the Site Task Group (STG) AtiFest 2019 targets to reduce focus crimes by 20 percent this year and raise the level of confidence of stakeholders that they are safe in Ati-Atihan.
Task units on security, emergency preparedness and peace and order of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be augmented by Philippine Army 12th Infantry Battalion, Bureau of Fire Protection, Kalibo Auxiliary Police, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams, emergency and rescue responders from Philippine National Red Cross, Saint Gabriel College-EMS, Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices.
“We are also aiming for zero major crime incidents and a peaceful and orderly celebration of Kalibo Ati-Atihan,” Canieso stressed during the Inter-Agency Coordinating Conference in Kalibo, Aklan.
Part of the security plans is the establishment of outer border controls in the towns of Nabas and Altavas and inner border controls near the town of Kalibo. The checkpoints will be manned by uniformed police personnel and the Philippine Army.
Eighteen sectors with three police assistance desks and pedestrian screening areas (PSA) will be put up also to monitor and assist motorists and merrymakers in festival zones.
Traffic rerouting and evacuation plans are also in place for emergencies and critical situations. Civil disturbance management and EOD/K9 units will be on standby for the festivities.
Canieso also urged around 1,500 uniformed personnel for Ati-Atihan deployment to focus on law enforcement operations in implementing the security and safety plans.
“We are ready in Task Group to support the Site Task Group in Kalibo festival in terms of personnel and logistics. Come in Kalibo, witness and enjoy the festivities as we assure you that we are safe and secure here,” said Canieso, also the PRO-6 deputy regional director for operations. (Aklan Forum Journal/PN)