Policemen gears up their security preparations for the upcoming Ati-Atihan festivals and international meetings in Aklan.
Aside from the capital town of Kalibo, six other towns are celebrating their version of Ati-Atihan festivals this January.
The town of Malinao will celebrate the Ati-Atihan on January 13; Makato Sto. Nino festival and Batan Ati-Atihan Malakara Festival on January 15; Ibajay Ati Municipal and Devotional Fiesta and Altavas Sto. Nino Festival on January 21 to 22.
Boracay Island also has its own Ati-Atihan celebration on the second week of January to honour Sto. Nino.
Kalibo Ati-Atihan, regarded as the “Mother of All Philippine Festivals” is the most popular festival slated from January 6 to 15. It is highlighted by the traditional ‘sadsad’ and the deafening beats of the drums.
Aklan deputy police director Superintendent Pedro Enriquez said seven municipal police stations presented their security deployment and traffic plans during the security preparation conference at Camp Pastor Martelino on December 5.
“Tuloy tuloy na rin itong security preparations natin sa mga kandidata ng Miss Universe sa Enero at sa ministerial meetings ng ASEAN sa Pebrero hanggang Marso,” he added.
The tourism department is eyeing Boracay Island and other tourist spots as venues of pre-pageant activities of 65th Miss Universe pageant prior to the coronation night on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena In Pasay City.
Boracay will be hosting also the leaders of 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the ministerial meetings on February 11 to March 2 in 2017.
Enriquez stressed, “the Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) will determine if there is a need to request for augmentation force from the Police Regional Office (PRO-6) and provincial police offices for the Ati-Atihan festivals.”
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, Bureau of Fire Protection, stakeholders and other law enforcement agencies will be joining forces to help ensure the festivals run smoothly and secure the merrymakers and devotees.
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL