TO HELP ease the traffic caused by the underpass project on N. Bacalso Ave. in Mambaling, Cebu City, the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes (Lourdes Shrine) has offered its church grounds as a one-way diversion route.

Lourdes Shrine Priest Fr. Randolph “Randy” Figuracion said this is the church’s community service, helping the government solve the traffic problem that has caused economic losses and wasted commuters’ time.

Lourdes Shrine in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City is located at the corner of E. Sabellano St. and F. Llamas St. The main crossing connects the four busy streets of E. Sabellano, F. Llamas, Katipunan and Tres de Abril Sts.

Lourdes Shrine celebrated its 61st anniversary last Feb. 11, 2018 with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma holding the pontifical mass.

Roger Panes, chairman of Lourdes’ Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) service committee, said a memorandum of agreement (MOA) shall be signed by officials of Barangay Punta Princesa, City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom) and Fr. Figuracion.

Punta Princesa Barangay Captain Restituto Atillo and Barangay Councilors Grace Caroline Baquero, Joselito Navarro, Alvin Paez, Clemencia Navarro, Tito Abella, Oliver Chua and Fritz Sullano supported the decision of the church.

Figuracion said he wants that the MOA will materialize this week.

“That is our contribution to ease the traffic,” Figuracion said.

It will allow vehicles from E. Sabellano St. to cross church grounds from the church gate on E. Sabellano to the gate on F. Llamas St. passing the grotto; that way, there’s no need to go through the street corner where they have to stop for a long time.

Due to the ongoing underpass project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which will last until 2020, the heavy traffic sometimes lasts until midnight.

In an executive committee meeting yesterday, the PPC said it wants that once the church grounds will be opened to traffic, this shall be manned by enforcers of Citom and Punta Princesa officials.

Panes said the church grounds must be open only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday.

This is only one-way and there will be no stopping, no parking and no loading and unloading of passengers allowed.

He said the vehicles that are allowed to use this diversion route are only light vehicles or four-wheel vehicles.

The diversion road is only oneway and there will be no stopping, no parking and no loading and unloading of passengers allowed.

Not allowed are tricycles, trisikads, motorcycles, trucks, prime movers, flatbed trucks bearing cargo containers, and heavy equipment.

Parishioners of Lourdes Parish are among those affected by the traffic situation in the area.

The parish is located at the corner of Sabellano and F. Llamas Sts., where all public utility vehicles plying the Katipunan and Tres de Abril routes converge.