by Jerome Atangan, Dara Miracle Montalbo, and Danica Salcedo
In line with the week-long celebration of the 18th Bañamos Festival from September 16-22, 2019, the local government of Los Baños implemented heightened security measures to ensure peace and order. This initiative was spearheaded by the Los Baños Philippine National Police (PNP) led by PLTCOL Louie D. Dionglay.
In preparation for the festival, the Los Baños PNP organized as series of meetings with representatives from the Bureau of Fire Protection Office, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Barangay Public Safety Officers, and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) in planning and crafting a security map for this year’s Bañamos Festival.
Cynthia N. Quintans of MDRRMO explained that aside from the implementation of security measures, first aid stations and emergency medical services were also set up to safeguard the 12,500 festival attendees.
Quintans also clarified that the change in the starting point of the civic parade from Olivarez Plaza to Makiling Subdivision aimed to guarantee the welfare of the townspeople, given that the previous location is undergoing construction.
Part of the preparations was the installation of CCTV cameras within and outside the Multi-purpose Evacuation Centre as per instruction of the municipal mayor. Tightened security was also observed through the 24/7 surveillance service of the Los Baños PNP.
Quintans also reported that there are lower cases of accidents and fainting spells. The overcast weather proved to be beneficial “ …salamat sa weather, hindi naman sa dahil gusto naming umuulan pero nakatulong siya para mabawasan ang ini,” she explained. After the parade, two cases of fainting were recorded –one during the civic parade and a pregnant woman during the program –which the MDRRMO units on stand by were able to immediately respond to.
The lower number of reported cases and incidents during the Bañamos Festival 2019 was made possible through the coordinated efforts of the Los Baños LGU offices and units.