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ENHANCING FESTIVE SECURITY: PSO men to don bodycams, install more CCTVs

By Jason B. Neola


INCORPORATING body cameras into law enforcement practices during events like the Peñafrancia fiesta can have significant benefits for both officers and the community.


That was given emphasis by Executive Director Renne Gumba of the Public Safety Office (PSO) in an interview with the Bicol Mail on Tuesday. “Body cameras can hold both law enforcement officers and members of the public accountable for their actions,” he said.


Allen Reondanga, head of the City Events, Protocol and Public Information Office (CEPPIO) who is also the Task Group Commander for the Joint Information Center, said that the gadgets can contribute to a safer and more secure environment by deterring criminal activity, aiding law enforcement investigations, providing evidence, and promoting responsible behavior among the public and law enforcement personnel.


He said that CCTVs can deter criminal activities while body cameras worn by law enforcement officers provide an objective record of their interactions with the public.


Gumba said that although CCTVs and body cams can be helpful and effective in evidence documentation, this would not mean, however, that PSO personnel will be in their comfort zones or feeling at ease while on their jobs because relying solely on technology might not account for the complex and dynamic nature of law enforcement situations.


“Law and traffic enforcers still play a crucial role in maintaining public safety and making real-time decisions as it is important to strike a balance between using technology as a tool and maintaining active, responsible policing,” he said.


On road closures and rerouting during the fiesta celebration, the Public Safety, Traffic Management and Enforcement Joint Task Group of the Joint Operations Center opted to implement them earlier this year than in previous years.


Hereunder are the traffic rerouting plan of the task group for the 2023 Miss Bicolandia Beauty Pageant coronation night and the schedule of road closures for religious and civic events:


The Miss Bicolandia Beauty Pageant – one of the most anticipated events during the Peñafrancia festival – will be having its pre-screening on August 26 at the Villa Caceres Hotel in Magsaysay Avenue.


The pageant showcases not only the contestants’ beauty but also their poise, intelligence, and charm. From the traditional wear segment to the question and answer round, the pageant exudes an aura of elegance and excitement.


Beyond the glitz and glamour, the pageant emphasizes the importance of women’s empowerment and social responsibility. Contestants are encouraged to champion various causes close to their hearts, ranging from education to healthcare to environmental conservation.


The criteria for selection of the official candidates: Personality and intelligence, 40%; Beauty of face, 30%; and Form and figure, 30%.


Twenty official candidates will walk for public presentation on the same date at the City Hall grounds.


The pageant’s coronation night will be conducted on September 6 at the Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum. As much as P300,000 grand prize awaits the candidate who will be crowned as the Miss Bicolandia 2023.


On garbage collection, the Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) is bracing up this year for a ‘deluge’ of garbage in the city, which is expected to increase up to 250 tons from September 11 to 17 period.


The volume of garbage does not only include those in the streets where most of the events will be conducted but also those that will be collected from the Naga River where the fluvial procession for the images of the Nuestra Senora de Peñafrancia and El Divino Rostro shall be undertaken on September 16.


The event is a captivating spectacle that draws multitudes of people. Elaborately decorated boats, especially the pagoda of Ina, glide along the serene waters adorned with vibrant colors and intricate designs, symbolizing both religious and cultural significance.


The fluvial procession, which is one of the highlights of the fiesta known as the biggest Marian festival in Asia, unites many people in a display of unity and devotion. It is a visual feast, showcasing Bicol’s rich heritage and attracting visitors who come to witness the grandeur of the tradition.


Mayor Nelson Legacion issued a directive for the Joint Operations Center to strictly implement the single-use plastic ordinance to reduce the usage of disposable plastic items, such as bags, straws, and containers, in order to minimize their negative environmental impact that contribute significantly to pollution, harming ecosystems, wildlife, and human health.


Engr. Joel Martin, SWMO chief, said that his office will conduct an active clean-up drive by ridding the streets of litters immediately after each event. “We will be deploying our teams of volunteer street sweepers and garbage collectors right at the place where an event is being conducted so that we can be able to clean the area when it is over,” he said.

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