City expects fewer check-ins to Devotee City
Kristine B. Quintas/ JMD (The Freeman) - January 14, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government is expecting at least 3,000 or fewer revelers to flock the Devotee City due to simultaneous papal visit.

The Devotee City is a project that aims to provide free accommodation for Sinulog revelers who come from distant towns and provinces.

Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias, chairman of the Devotee City, said they will validate the “reasons and conditions” of those who will arrive on Thursday.

Devotee City near the Compania Maritima grounds will officially open on Friday but it will start accepting “early check-ins” on Thursday to accommodate the devotees coming from cities and towns far from Cebu City. It will last until Monday next week.

If there is a surge, Cabarrubias said they will use tents to accommodate the excess number which is part of their contingency plan.

The Devotee City hosts 120 vans and each can accommodate 15 to 20 people.

Cabarrubias said the requirement for the registration is the ticket from the airplane, bus or ferry showing that they are from distant places.

Devotees coming from areas beyond Danao City in the north of Cebu, Carcar City in the south and Toledo City in the southwest should present their bus tickets while those traveling to Cebu from other provinces in the country can present their boat tickets.

The devotees are prohibited from bringing toxic substances, liquor, illegal drugs, among others inside the holding center. They will be provided with identification cards.

To ensure the safety of the revelers, the City Police Office has also deployed six organic personnel in three shifts with the assistance of tanods from Barangays San Roque, Sto. Niño and Ermita.  Also, medical station and ambulance will be stationed within the vicinity.

Cabarrubias clarified that the city government will not be providing food for the devotees but only sleeping quarters, water, electricity and wi-fi connection for those who have smartphones.

He, however, said different non-government organizations and business enterprises will extend food to the devotees housed at the Devotee City, like a group of Indian businessmen in the city who pledged an all-meal feeding on Sunday. A private company will also build interim playground for the children to refrain them from going out of the premises.

The container vans that will be used as the sleeping quarters have been provided by 2GO while the Visayan Electric Company and the Metropolitan Cebu Water District will supply the electricity and water, respectively.

This is the 29th year that the city government is providing free sleeping quarters for devotees of Sto. Niño who come to Cebu to join in the Sinulog festivities. — (FREEMAN)

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