Road closure to begin early on Sinulog parade day-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
CEBU CITY -- As early as 3 a.m. on the day of the Sinulog grand parade, motor vehicles will be barred from entering Cebu City proper.
Joy Tumulak of the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) said a 10-hectare lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) will be designated as parking lot for buses, mini-buses and private vehicles coming from south Cebu on January 20.
In a related development, the Cebu Contractors’ Association (CCA) vowed to install more bleachers at the Sinulog grand parade route. This will mean that more than 9,000 spectators can be accommodated on the bleachers.
Tumulak said vehicle owners and commuters can take a jeepney from the SRP to the Senior Citizen’s Park, located across City Hall, and walk two blocks to the Basilica del Sto. Niño.
City Hall will give special permits to about 50 jeepneys that will be deployed for the purpose.
“We will have clearing operations at 10 p.m. on January 19 and at 3 a.m. the next day. All roads will be closed for vehicles,” said Tumulak.
He said public utility jeepneys will be stationed at V. Rama Ave. after the grand parade to shuttle people to the SRP parking lot.
The jeepneys will charge the minimum fare, he added.
Jovy Morelos, head of the bleachers committee, said the Cebu Contractors Association (CCA) will also install more bleachers at the Fuente Osmeña rotunda.
“Sauna, isa ra man nang bleachers diha unta which is placed near Rajah Park Hotel, pero karon tuyokan daw nila (They will put bleachers around the rotunda. Before there was just one near the Rajah Park Hotel),” she said.
Additional bleachers will be installed along P. Del Rosario St., Gen. Maxilom Ave. and Gorordo Ave.
There will be bleachers near the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) property along Gen. Maxilom Ave. in Barangay Carreta. In the past, there were none.
Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros told Sun.Star Cebu they have received many requests from business owners who want to install bleachers in front of their properties to provide viewing areas for their families and friends.
But Ballesteros said they have turned down the requests as the CCA is the only one authorized to install bleachers to be used by the public.
If they insist in constructing one, Ballesteros said, they will have to apply for a permit at the Office of the Building Official.
Morelos said bleacher seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
While preparing for Cebu’s biggest festival, Sinulog organizers hope that suspended Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Acting Governor Agnes Magpale will reconcile during the festival.
"Maybe during the grand parade. I just hope they will attend and watch together the Sinulog even for a day. People will like to watch them both during the Sinulog. That is our purpose to unite the people through the Sinulog festival. It will be the best gift they can give to Cebuanos," said Ballesteros.
He warned politicians, though, against using the Sinulog to campaign.
“Sinulog is a religious celebration. Only the mayor can give a message. I also ask the people to behave during Sinulog, even the politicians,” he said.
President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay will attend the Sinulog grand parade. Aquino is allowed to deliver a speech but only before the parade.
Despite having a smaller budget compared to last year, Sinulog marketing and promotions director Anna Marie Conejero assured that SFI will make do with available resources.
Capitol will reportedly donate only P500,000 to the Sinulog, way below its assistance of P3 million last year.
SFI hopes to raise at least P40 million for the festival.
Mayor Michael Rama, on the other hand, expressed disappointment in Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Officer-in-Charge Mariano Natuel’s failure to attend the final meeting of Sinulog organizers Wednesday.
“He should have been here. The Sinulog this year is different because it is an election year. There is also that matter at the Cebu Provincial Capitol,” he said.
Natuel sent CCPO Deputy Officer for Operations Carmelo Dayon to attend the Sinulog organizers’ meeting as he had to attend a meeting at the Police Regional Office 7 with the Central Command, also to discuss the Sinulog celebration. (JBT/PDF/USJR Mass Comm Intern Rachel Anne M. Umpad)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2013.