Rama disapproves of Kalag fest-A A +A
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
CITY Hall and Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) frown on the holding of the Kalag-Kalag Festival along V. Rama Ave.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the barangay can celebrate the festival provided they don’t obstruct traffic.
V. Rama Ave. is one of the busiest streets in the city during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day because it leads to the Calamba Public Cemetery.
Citom executive director Rafael Yap said the barangay did not ask for a permit to use part of the road for the festival.
A barangay employee confirmed to Sun.Star Cebu that there will be street dancing at 4 p.m. today as part of the launching of the festival. It was not clear if it will be held on V. Rama.
Calamba Barangay Captain Victor Quijano could not be reached for comment.
“If the festival will be done at the barangay hall then that’s fine, but it should not be on the road. The road should not be occupied,” said Rama. He called Yap to make sure there will be no street dancing on V. Rama today.
“If it will be in Cebu Coliseum, South Road Properties, larga (then go)!” said Rama.
He said Oplan Kalag-Kalag was established in 2002 to address traffic concerns.
The Kalag-Kalag Festival was approved by the Cebu City Council last Oct. 10.
The resolution sponsored by Councilors Augustus Pe Jr. and Margarita Osmeña read, “Barangay Calamba envisions the festival to reflect the Kalag-Kalag traditional practices, beliefs and customs of the Cebuanos and to attract local and international tourism in the future.”
The festival will start today and end on Nov. 2.
The activities lined up for the three-day event are: inter-sitio Kalag-Kalag Street Dancing Competition, Halloween Group Dance Competition, Inter-Funeral Parlor Cadaver Competition, Bibingka and Budbod Cooking Competition, Best in Halloween Competition, Nitso Decoration Competition, Mananabtan/Pangadye Competition and Bisrock Band Competition Makeover.
“From my end, it’s a no-go on the street. It’s a simple matter, if they spill on the street then we will have to disperse them,” said Yap.
Rama will also visit all 13 cemeteries in Cebu City today to check if the police
action center tents are in place.
The Cebu City Government’s Public Information Office also warned motorists of the rerouting scheme initiated by Citom.
There will be traffic signs installed all over Cebu City for the rerouting.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command (Centcom) will also deploy
an army company to assist the local police in southern Cebu during the holidays.
Starting tomorrow, Centcom’s 78th Infantry Battalion (IB) will patrol the southern and midwestern part of Cebu.
First Lieutenant Jorry Vinluan, commanding officer of the 78th IB, told reporters yesterday they will patrol cemeteries and other areas where crowds converge.
Vinluan met with Talisay City Police chief Supt. Eddie Recamara yesterday.
Vinluan said they’ve also made courtesy calls with other police chiefs within their jurisdictions.
Recamara said starting at dawn tomorrow, there will be police personnel in the in the city’s public and private cemeteries.
Recamara said that aside from the public cemeteries of Poblacion, Tanke and Cansojong, they will also monitor private cemeteries in Mohon and San Roque.
Meanwhile, the public is urged to practice “cemetequette” or “Pinoy Cemetery Etiquette,” by a coalition for environment protection.
The program promotes environmental responsibility, good manners and respect for both
the dead and the living.
EcoWaste Coalition called for eco-friendly and toxic-free practices while the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 called for proper waste segregation and disposal.
The coalition suggests that people repaint tombs with latex paint or enamel paint with no lead content and replacing mercury-containing fluorescent lamps to avoid breakage.
The people are also advised to public to follow police warnings, especially on the prohibition of liquor, firearms, bladed and pointed objects and loud music.
They urged the public not to harm trees and plants, and to take a walk, ride a bike or pedicab in going to the cemetery to lessen toxic fumes.
The group suggested the use of candles that do not yield black fumes or soot and light only a few candles to avoid pollution.
People are also advised to buy fresh flowers, not the plastic ones. People must also bring their own water jugs instead of buying bottled water at the cemetery.
DENR 7 Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo urged cemetery administrators and local government units to provide garbage cans that encourage trash segregation.
As of 2011, the amount of waste disposed in Cebu City is from 450 to 500 tons a day, with each person producing 0.5 kilogram of garbage daily.
“Visiting the cemeteries is a valued and cherished tradition among Filipinos as we pray for the eternal repose of the souls. And while pray for them, we should also take an extra effort to preserve the environment for the well-being of the living,” Montejo said in a statement.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2012.