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Medics ready for parade

CEBU, Philippines - At least 22 medical teams from the Department of Health (DOH) 7 will take their posts in the Sinulog procession route today and in tomorrow’s Sinulog grand parade.

Meanwhile, the Sinulog Foundation Incorporation (SFI) gathered all participants to present the guidelines for Sunday’s parade, with executive head Ricky Ballesteros presenting the “do’s and don’t’s”.

DOH Health Emergency Management program coordinator Dr. Expedito Medalla said that each team had a doctor, nurse, paramedics, communicator and a driver.

Aside from the medical booths, DOH-7 is also coordinating with the Cebu Medical Society and other private and public hospitals to monitor emergency situations during the feast of Sr. Sto Niño.

“There are one hundred or more people joining the emergency medical teams,” Medalla said as he requested people who will be joining the procession today and will be watching the Sinulog parade to be careful.

 “They should bring food, water or juices, medicines and other things they need to prevent any health problems. For those people who are not feeling well, I would suggest that they just stay in-house and watch the event on TV,” Medalla said.

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The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) leads the emergency response team which is composed of Philippine Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF), Basak Pardo Emergency Response and other medical groups.

Starting today, the DOH will be implementing code white until tomorrow for them to be ready for any emergency.

On the day of the Sinulog parade, roads which will be used for the grand parade will be closed starting 4 a.m. The assembly of the participants will be at 5 a.m. and the event will formally kick off at nine in the morning.

Vice President Jejomar Binay will join the festivities so security will be tighter.

There are 23 participants for the Sinulog-based category, 27 for the free interpretation, 24 for the higante and 27 for the puppeteers.

Ballesteros reminded the participants for the float category not to throw any items at the crowd.

“Naa to’y kas-a nga naay nanglabay ug sabon. Naigo tawn ang dancer unya na bukol ning reklamo ning adto sa opisina.” said Ballesteros. (One time soaps were thrown from a float and this hit and wounded one of the dancers in the head.)

He also reminded the float contingents to wear a decent outfit and act decently.

Merrymakers are prohibited from smudging and wiping people with facial make-up or black substance. People are also discouraged from excessive drinking of alcohol.

Taking pictures in front of the dancers are also prohibited so that there will be no gaps in the parade.

Sinulog will end at 11 in the evening with a fireworks display. (FREEMAN)

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