THE planning for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) is on its final stages.

Local organizers said yesterday that the activities have been listed and the facilities are set.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma told reporters that starting today, 59 bishops from across the globe will meet in Marco Polo Plaza Hotel for a two-day plenary session, which will serve as a preview to the 51st IEC next year.

The plenary is also the last meeting between local and international organizers of the IEC.

Everything should be finalized during the plenary session.

Delegates arrived yesterday.

Palma welcomed the delegates with a mass he officiated at the St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Barangay Lahug.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, will also celebrate a mass today, prior to the first plenary.

In the afternoon, Pontifical Committee for the IEC head Archbishop Piero Marini will lead delegates to an inspection of the Eucharistic Pavilion at the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos in Barangay Mabolo.

Msgr. Dennis Villarojo, 51st IEC secretary general, said they have already collected P8 million from the Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo as operational fund.

Organizers are still accounting the proceeds from the registration of local and international delegates.

Villarojo said he is confident that they will reach their overall operational target of P250 million before Jan. 2016.

He added that the construction of the Eucharistic Pavilion, which is the IEC's main venue, is also ahead of schedule.