THERE may be at least three months more to go, but the organizers of the Sinulog 2018 have already started preparations.
Councilor Dave Tumulak, Sinulog executive committee chairman, said they’ve decided to lay out the preparations earlier to give everyone enough time to adjust.
He said their first step is to organize the street vendors, especially during the novena at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Tumulak, who is also deputy mayor for police matters, said that the committee and the different vendors’ organizations have agreed to adopt a color-coding identification system that will help distinguish lawless elements, and make sure that street traders stay within their designated areas to avoid overcrowding.
He associated the lack of discipline in the streets with overcrowding, which is a main distraction used by pickpockets.
“We have to clear the sidewalk for the pedestrians and at the same time, instill discipline among our vendors. This is for everyone’s safety,” Tumulak said.
Tumulak said there are some 1,000 vendors within the vicinity of the Basilica alone.
Their next step would be to expand the color scheme plan to vendors along the Sinulog parade route. Tumulak said that non-residents of Cebu City who will be staying in the Devotee City that will be put up near Compañia Maritima can also use their temporary shelters as storage for their goods.
The organizers are talking with a utility company to allow other vendors to use the parking areas for their storage, as well.
In a separate interview, Gretchen Salde, Plaza Sugbo Candle Vendors Association vice president, said they support the plan because this is also a way for the vendors to help maintain peace and order during the celebration.
“We understand that this is a way to keep the celebration solemn and that is why we are being cooperative. We also assure that we will help the police and City Hall inform any suspicious personalities we see roaming around our vending areas,” she said in Cebuano. (RTF)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 14, 2017.
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