THERE might be slight changes to the Traslacion route on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, as the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) arranged two route plans in case of bad weather.
Traslacion is the traditional motorcade transporting the patron images of the Sto. Niño and the Virgen de Guadalupe de Cebu from Cebu City to Mandaue City. It is among the ninth-day activities in line with the almost month-long 459th Fiesta Señor and Sinulog sa Sugbo Philippines 2024 celebration.
The usual route of the motorcade starts at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu for the conduct of the Misa de Traslacion, then traverses Osmeña Blvd., M.J. Cuenco Ave., Lopez Jaena St. via Central Nautical Highway, A. del Rosario St. and S.B. Cabahug St., until it reaches the National Shrine of St. Joseph Church in Mandaue City.
However, Hyl Retuya, Team division head, said Thursday, Jan. 11, they plan to divert the convoy to pass through Ouano Ave. instead of the highway, where flooding usually occurs, should it rain.
Retuya said they will deploy 60 to 70 personnel, including mobile patrollers, to regulate traffic during the Traslacion.
He said they would also assign personnel to guard all possible shortcut routes that would lead to the motorcade route, to block vehicles passing, so as not to impede the convoy’s flow.
Flor Gitgano, Team administrative head, said they will close all Mandaue roads covered by the Traslacion as early as 30 minutes before the motorcade reaches Mandaue City.
Despite the closure, Gitgano said they will still allow vehicles to pass these roads so long as the convoy has not arrived yet so as not to hamper commuters’ travel.
She assured motorists that the roads would reopen immediately after the motorcade has passed through them.
While the motorcade is ongoing, Gitgano said, they will reroute vehicles from the north, passing M.C. Briones St. to A.S. Fortuna St. Vehicles heading north traversing A.S. Fortuna will now turn right to M.C. Briones St.
If there are vehicles that have already passed M.C. Briones St. going to Cebu City when the convoy arrives, they will be diverted to M. Logarta St. in Sitio Panagdait, Gitgano said.
To ensure heightened security in the area, Col. Maribel Getigan, Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) director, said they will impose three layers of police barricades aside from the barricade fences within the motorcade’s entourage at the St. Joseph Church.
“Three layers, which means three levels of security. There will be an inner, middle and outer ring of police barricades within the perimeter of the church and the saints’ caros (carriage) for security,” said Getigan.
Getigan said they will deploy around 814 police, including force multipliers, during the motorcade as they anticipate that devotees will flock to the event.
She said the MCPO would conduct a simulation exercise, together with all of the City’s law enforcement agencies involved in the event’s preparation, to assess possible relevant modifications to their security plan.
Getigan advises devotees who plan to meet the motorcade to avoid bringing backpacks and, as much as possible, any bags so as not to lure thieves, who may also be present during the activity.