Officials ordered more than 3000 additional security forces to Bacolod City for the final days of the MassKara Festival, which ends on Sunday, October 28. On Friday, October 26, the Office of the President of the Philippines reported that President Rodrigo Duterte will make an unscheduled appearance at the festival on Saturday, October 27, along with several other local officials. Authorities will also suspend mobile phone service at all festival sites in central Bacolod City, including near the Bacolod Public Plaza, Lacson Tourism Strip, and the Bacolod City Government Center. The ending ceremonies will feature several street processions in Bacolod City; road closures and transportation disruptions should be anticipated in the coming days.
The MassKara Festival is an annual 21-day carnival held in Bacolod City. A larger contingent of politicians is expected to attend the closing ceremonies as candidates look ahead to the 2019 Philippine general elections.
Individuals present in the Philippines during the carnival period, particularly those in Bacolod City, are advised to exercise an increased level of vigilance regarding crime (e.g. carry only small amounts of cash, leave copies of passports/credit cards in a safe location, etc.) and to allow for additional time to reach their destinations.
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