WORK on the venue of the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu, a building that may be used in the future as an evacuation center, is already halfway, organizers said.
In a press conference yesterday, Engr. Adonis Gabutin, construction manager of Duros Development Corp. (DDC), said that the Eucharistic Pavilion is now 50.8 percent complete.
The estimated completion date for the pavilion, which is being built within a seminary compound in Mabolo, Cebu City, is in September this year.
Gabutin admitted there were challenges in the construction phase such as changes in the weather, but that the work remains ahead of schedule.
The Eucharistic Pavilion will serve as the plenary hall for the 51st IEC and has an attached building for the secretariat and auxiliary facilities.
The pavilion is divided into two parts: the Plenary Hall and the Secretariat Building. The Plenary Hall has three levels, with a parking lot on the bottom level, a main hall on the second level, and a gallery on the third.
The total floor area of the Plenary Hall is 18,546.42 square meters.
The Secretariat Building is composed of two levels and contains the Secretariat office, mess hall for the dignitaries, the chapel, and several halls for exhibits.
Msgr. Dennis Villarojo, 51st IEC secretary-general, said that after the Congress, the Pavilion will be converted into two structures.
The Plenary Hall will become a pastoral center, while the Secretariat Building will become the new Minor Seminary for the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Aside from being used as a pastoral center for religious gatherings and other events, the Pavilion will also serve as offices of the Jerome Bible Center and Dilaab Foundation.
The pavilion will also serve as an evacuation center in times of emergencies.
Monsignor Villarojo said that the Archdiocese recently signed an agreement with DDC that would allow the construction firm to donate the pavilion to the former.
But in exchange, the Archdiocese will give usufruct rights to DDC over a portion of the seminary property for 25 years.
Villarojo also clarified that the 2016 IEC’s operational expenses are expected to reach around P250 million, not P600 million as earlier reported.
He added that they have not encountered any problems in raising funds as they have different sources such as proceeds from the registration fees, which are estimated to reach P100 million.
Aside from the registration, the organizers are also relying on the proceeds from the Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo (PPMM) and sponsorships.
Organizers have collected around P5 million from the PPMM.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the organizers are willing to accept money from politicians provided that donors will not use the IEC for political means.
“We discourage any full support with strings attached. Yes, you (political donors) can attend the IEC but don’t expect special privileges or treatment,” he added.