The Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command (AFP-CentCom) based in Camp Lapu-Lapu in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City was tasked to control the crowd during the Sinulog festivities, an official said.
These are fluvial and foot procession on January 17 as well as the Sinulog Grand Parade carousel route during the feast day on Jan. 18.
Lieutenant Commander Jim Alagao, CentCom spokesman, said that since last November, the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) has been coordinating with them for the Sinulog festivities.
He said the 7,300 personnel which will be deployed for the Sinulog which will be composed of two task units forming Joint Task Group Sinulog.
Alagao said Task Unit Sto. Niño will control the crowd during the fluvial procession from the Ouano wharf in Mandaue City to Pier 1 in Cebu City and the foot procession of the Holy Image of the senor Sto. Nino in the afternoon of Jan. 17, Saturday.
On the other hand, he said Task Unit Grand Parade will be tasked with crowd control of the Sinulog Grand Parade on the six-kilometer carousel route on Jan. 18, Sunday.
Alagao said these personnel will be composed of soldiers and Reserve Officers Training Corp cadets.
The food for the crowd control personnel will be provided by SFI, Alagao said.
Crowd control has been a perennial problem of the Sinulog festivities because of the millions of people who joined the procession and watched the Sinulog Grand Parade.
But Sinulog organizers expect a thinner crowd this year because of the visit to the country of Pope Francis, particularly in Manila and in Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte.
The Pope’s visit on Jan. 15 to 19 coincides with the Sinulog festivities in Cebu City. (PNA)