Cebu News

IEC traffic dry run: Many not informed on road closures

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - After yesterday's traffic dry-run for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress set next year, the Cebu City Transportation Office sees the need for them to inform the public more on the traffic scheme, particularly for private vehicles.

"More information dissemination kay ma-delay ang mga private vehicles sa intersection kay wala sila kahibalo sa traffic scheme," said CCTO acting head Rafael Yap.

CCTO closed the entire stretch of Pope John Paul II Avenue from F. Cabahug Street to Archbishop Reyes Avenue for vehicular traffic of private vehicles yesterday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m for the first traffic dry-run of IEC.

Also, the Archdiocese of Cebu celebrated yesterday the Christ the King at the IEC Pavilion at the Pope John Paul II Seminary in Mabolo, Cebu City.

Yap said the traffic dry-run is to test the viability of the traffic scheme planned to avoid major congestion in the area. Cebu City is set to host the IEC in January 2016.

The area was closed for private vehicles while public utility jeepneys and taxis were allowed to traverse the whole stretch.

Yap said CCTO has identified diversion routes for the private vehicles, such as the Cebu Business Park area, A.S. Fortuna Street and Juan Luna Street.

As of 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. yesterday, he said heavy traffic was noticed along Pope John Paul II Avenue, Cardinal Rosales and F. Cabahug Street, while flow of traffic along the Banilad-Talamban Corridor and Salinas Drive was normal.

Yap said though that CCTO would still assess the condition of the traffic flow on its second traffic dry-run today from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

If the proposed scheme is feasible, Yap said Pope John Paul II Avenue would be officially closed for private vehicles.

CCTO Operations Chief Jonathan Tumulak said CCTO distributed passes to homeowners and personnel of companies with cars living and working along the closed stretch.

"So, naay nakasulod some private vehicles nga na-issue-han og vehicle pass, mao ra ni siya ang mga tao nga naa nagpuyo sa area or naay company sa area," he said.

Security preparations

The Police Regional Office-7 will be heightening their security preparations as they expect more walk-in participants for the IEC.

Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, chief of the Regional Directorial Staff of PRO-7, said that during their initial meeting with Bishop Dennis Villarojo, they were informed that the estimated 15,000 participants are only those who will be registered and they have to prepare as well for the walk-in participants.

"Mao na nga it's another challenge of your police here in Central Visayas," said Lawas.

As part of the directive of the regional director, Chief Superintendent Prudencio Tom Bañas, Lawas said they are now making necessary security plans and are coordinating with Bishop Villarojo, as well as other government agencies who might be involved in the IEC event.

Lawas said they will be looking into the program of IEC organizers wherein a family from Cebu will be adopting participants for the week-long duration of the IEC.

"Usa na sa among gihangyo ni bishop (Villarojo). We will be requesting also this kind of information nga kung kinsa ni mga pamilyaha nga mo-adopt og mga pamilya pud para at least maapil namo sa amoa nga security preparation," said Lawas.

Lawas said as of now, they cannot determine yet how many police personnel will be needed for the upcoming event since they have still to finalize the security plans.

However, he said since there is also the Sinulog celebration prior to the IEC, they are already projecting the possibility that they might need the services of other police personnel from the other islands like Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental.

"Usa na na sa atong gipanglantaw karon, but we will finalize as soon as we get the whole picture of the IEC activity," said Lawas.

 "We would like to enlist the participation of all Cebuanos. Dili lang ang mga pulis ang tahasan nato niini sa security, kitang tanan… Magtinabangay lang ta niini," Lawas added.

He said the upcoming events- Sinulog and IEC, will be challenging to the police.

 "Challenging siya, but we are happy because we were trained during the APEC. At least we now have a system that we can adopt for the IEC," said Lawas.  (FREEMAN)

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