By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur — The Agusan del Sur Police Provincial Office (ADSPPO) revealed that they have tightened the security for the week-long 26th Naliyagan Festival celebration as they expect around 80,000 people to visit the festival grounds here.
“If we based our security preparation from the data we have from the previous years, last year we had around approximately 80,000 people who visited the festival grounds within the entire weeklong celebration. This year we expect it to be much bigger, for example, if we total the entire day of visitors we had between 14,000 to 15,000 people who visited the grounds during the opening day,” Senior Supt. Marlou Martinez, ADSPPO Provincial Director.
Santiago Cane, provincial board member of the district I in Agusan del Sur pointed out that the 2017 celebration of the Naliyagan Festival was beefed up in terms of security inside the grounds.
“Last year we celebrated the silver anniversary celebration or 25 years of Naliyagan Festival and at the same time the 50th Golden Jubilee celebration of the province of Agusan del Sur, so there was a lot of security personnel inside and outside the festival grounds added with the May 2017 declaration of martial law in Mindanao,” said Cane.
The 26th Naliyagan Festival celebrations opened on Tuesday, simultaneously with the Independence Day commemoration of the Province of Agusan del Sur and will end on Sunday.
“The total uniformed personnel deployed to secure the entire festival activities are around 650 personnel, this includes the augmentation from the region as well as soldiers from the army. But that number does not include the additional manpower provided by personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection as well as from the Search and Rescue Agusan del Sur and other civilian volunteer groups from the province,” added Martinez.
Martinez pointed out that even amid the martial law in place they try to put the security measures as not to strain on the celebration.