Cebu News

Bets urged: Respect IEC

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - A church official has appealed to the public, especially political candidates, to respect the “integrity and sacredness” of the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress.

  Monsignor Dennis Villarojo, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said bringing and distributing campaign materials inside the church during the 51st IEC in January next year are prohibited. However, wearing of T-shirts printed with candidate’s face is allowed.

He called on all political aspirants to respect and preserve the non-partisan nature and stand of the Roman Catholic Church by not holding any political activities inside churches.

“In relation to IEC, the Eucharistic celebration is open to everybody. We do not judge the intention of people in attending the celebration, but (I) appeal to them to preserve its sacredness,” Villarojo said.

 “Rather than prohibiting anybody from attending the celebration, we should be very careful that essence of the celebration and its holiness will be preserved,” he added.

 This is part of the church’s guidelines for 2016 elections, which is yet to be distributed to parishes under the Archdiocese of Cebu, to keep partisan activities away from the church.

 He clarified though that the church is recognizing and appreciating candidates who invoke the blessing of the Lord. But he said the church is not the proper venue for partisan initiatives, especially candidates delivering speeches before the congregation.

 He assured that none of those vying for government posts will deliver speeches during the IEC. He added that only those invited speakers, church officials and papal legate are allowed to speak during the event.


 A simple IEC Pavilion with palatial plenary hall is now ready for turnover.

Duros Development Corporation, which spent and built the three-level IEC venue, is set to turn over the facility to the Archdiocese of Cebu at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

 The turnover ceremony is in time for the 25th anniversary celebration of DDC, a general contractor and construction company established in 1990.

 After the congress, the IEC Pavilion will be used as pastoral center, multi-purpose hall and will also be leased for events, conventions and exhibits.

According to Engineer Rizal Camangyan Jr., the project’s construction manager, the IEC Pavilion is already 97 percent complete.

He explained that the remaining three percent is only polishing, testing and commissioning of equipment, site development, among others.

 “Everything will be completed within the month,” he added.

 The IEC Pavilion worth over P500 million was completed for just 15 months, faster than the usual three years in constructing a building. The construction started in June last year after the groundbreaking on February 15, 2014.

In a walk around the facility yesterday, IEC’s structural architect Carlos Pio Zafra showed to the media the features of the facility, including the plenary hall that can accommodate 8,500 delegates and gallery that can cater 3,500 participants; secretariat building; chapel; media center; bishops and priests’ holding rooms, among others.

 It was designed for 15,000 seating capacity, but due to the establishment of media center and other function rooms and aisles it was narrowed to 12,000. 

 The facility is also a person with disability-friendly with access ramp situated across the bishop’s vesting room. Its structural integrity can withstand strong earthquakes like the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that jolted Bohol and Cebu in 2013.

It is also equipped with 27 closed-circuit television cameras, 200 parking slots, 1,000 sprinklers head, and more than 1,700 lighting fixtures.

 Zafra said he was instructed by Villarojo, the secretary general of the 51st IEC, to create a “simple” design for the event.

 “I was tempted to make flamboyant design especially for the international events like IEC to highlight creativity…I control flamboyance to come up with a design which is spiritual. It was really daunting for me to design or create a space that is grant but has to be humble at the same time,” he said adding that it has to be simple because it is already “immense.”

The wall finishes, the floor and ceiling are bare and unadorned, he said.

 “When foreign delegates, Italians and Europeans, visited the venue they were appreciative of the simplicity of the structure. They can foresee they will be sitting at the plenary and their eyes will be focused on the stage rather than elsewhere,” he said.

For Duros chairman Rafaelito Barino and his wife, corporate secretary Fe Barino, the IEC Pavilion is their offering to God and His Church.

 “It is really a gift and blessing to be a part of making this significant structure a reality for the Archdiocese of Cebu,” Rafaelito said.

 Rafaelito and his wife are devout Catholics who consider their faith in God the secret to their success.

“God made it all possible for us,” Fe said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy-7 gathered yesterday all power distributors and suppliers in preparation for the upcoming event.

DOE-7 director Antonio Labios said they initially discussed some contingency measures to ensure power supply in all the venues of the event.

Representatives of Visayan Electric Company, Mactan Electric Company, East Asia Utilities, Cebu Energy Development Corporation, Cebu Private Power Corporation, among others including the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines attended the meeting.

The venues of the event include the San Carlos Seminary, the Cebu Doctors’ University, 14 different parishes in Cebu, Plaza Independencia, Cebu Provincial Capitol, Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, among others. (FREEMAN)

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