NO ROADS will be closed by the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) for the upcoming presidential debate at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu campus.

Lawyer Rey Gealon, CCTO executive director, said they want all roads near the venue for the March 20 event open so as not to further congest vehicular traffic in the area.

If Gorordo Ave., where UP Cebu is located, will be closed to traffic, Gealon said there is only one other viable access road going to the venue—Kamagong St.

But the said road, he said, will not be enough to accommodate the anticipated number of vehicles that will be traversing there.

Pre-invited guests

“Instantly, it will result in heavy traffic. Following a circumspect discussion and deliberation about it with the CCTO planning and operations divisions, we decided not to effect a road closure in the area. It is best that the roads will be left open for traffic,” he said in an interview yesterday.

The Visayas-leg of the presidential debate will be held at the UP Cebu’s Performing Arts Hall where 500 pre-invited guests will be accommodated.

Around 1,500 seats, on the other hand, are available at the grounds of UP for those who can’t go inside the hall. Bleachers are being provided by the Lapu-Lapu City Government and it is currently being assembled at the site.


Deployment

Gregg Lloren, a professor of UP Cebu and the event organizer, earlier said they would’ve wanted the CCTO to close the road, particularly the one starting from Harolds Hotel to Lahug Elementary School, to ensure the safety and security of the five presidentiables, who will be attending the debate.

They are Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance, Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, Sen. Grace Poe of the Nationalist Party, Sen Miriam Defensor-Santiago of the People’s Reform Party and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.

According to Gealon, CCTO will deploy around 30 traffic enforcers in front of the venue and on Gorordo Ave. to manage the traffic, as well as parking attendants, who will help drivers find parking spaces.

Gealon said the designated parking area is located within the premises of the UP Cebu campus as well as the vacant area located across the school.

Both parking areas can accommodate around 100 vehicles.