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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesWednesday, October 19, 2011
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Buglasan organizers
strengthen security

BY JUDY F. PARTLOW

Organizers of the ongoing Buglasan Festival 2011 in Negros Oriental reassured the public that maximum efforts are being extended to provide security and safety to the public.

First aid and emergency medical services throughout the entire festival celebration which runs until October 23 are also ready, they said.

Mariant Escaño-Villegas, chairman of the Negros Oriental Culture and Arts Foundation Inc., a non-government group tasked to manage the Buglasan affairs this year, admitted the need to review and fine-tune an emergency response contingency plan, in view of Friday’s incident where a band member died of a heart attack on stage during the opening program of the festival.

There were talks in the past weekend about the preparations for the Buglasan Festival. Villegas said there are still many adjustments to be made, and the unanticipated death of  the band member  was a “lesson learned”.

She expressed hope that the rest of the activities in the coming days will not be marred by untoward incidents at various venues in Dumaguete City and nearby towns.

She said that last Friday evening, when band member Claire Simon Silorio, 41, of Barangay Agan-an in Sibulan, Negros Oriental, manifested symptoms of a heart attack, medics tried to reach him through a very thick crowd at the Sidlakang Negros Village.

Villegas disputed claims that no emergency response team was available at the time and said a medics team from the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital was on standby near the Philippine National Police assistance center.

Witnesses’ accounts said Silorio was performing on stage when he suddenly collapsed. He was brought to the hospital but died on Saturday.

Villegas called for a special meeting with the PNP, NOPH representatives and members of the organizing committee, among others, on Monday afternoon on measures to ensure the safety and security of festival-goers.

The highlight event, with the largest ever crowd expected every year during the Buglasan, is the Festival of Festivals on Friday with nine towns and cities sending cultural dance contingents that will compete during the grand showdown at the Lamberto Macias Sports Center in Dumaguete at 8 a.m. and during the street dancing competition around the major thoroughfares at 2 p.m. Friday.*JFP

 

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