Cebu News

Devotee City ready for 3T

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/RHM - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - At least 120 container vans placed at the grounds of Compania Maritima in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City will serve as temporary shelter of thousands from different towns and provinces who want to join the Fiesta Señor celebration.

Acting mayor Edgardo Labella said the Devotee City can accommodate 3,000 people starting Friday, January 15, until Monday, January 18.

He said that for the 20th year, the city government and various donors will help provide free shelter and other privileges to devotees of the Holy Child who have nowhere else to go

“I-observe sa nato kon kailangan mag-augment og big electric fans. We will do that. Basta gabii, very windy. Sa morning, kadaghanan nila adto sa simbahan. Sa akong tan-aw, we can also sacrifice a little. Because it is a pilgrimage, it’s not all fun. There must be some kind of a sacrifice as an offering to the Senior Sto. Niño,” Labella said.

The city government will prioritize those who came from beyond Danao City in the north, Carcar City in the south, and other provinces outside Cebu.

One can avail of the free shelter if he can present during registration a bus or a boat ticket as proof that they came from afar.

Once they have registered, the devotees will be given an identification card and assigned a container van where they can stay.

The city government will provide basic services, which include portable toilets and shower rooms, among others.

The Cebu City Health Department and the Cebu City Medical Center will provide medical service, while the Metropolitan Cebu Water District will provide potable water and the Visayan Electric Company will supply electricity.

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, on the other hand, will put telephone lines with Internet and free Wi-Fi. Also, Hello Marketing will install a Pan Tilt Zoom Internet Protocol Camera for live streaming of the Sinulog Grand Parade.

Cebu City Police Office headquarters and Waterfront Police Station personnel, accompanied by San Roque, Ermita, and Sto. Niño barangay tanods, will be deployed to provide 24-hour security of the area.

The city government will also deploy barangay environment officers and deputized enforcers of the City Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Team so the devotees would observe cleanliness of the area.

Other sponsors like Jollibee Foods Corporation, Julie’s Bakeshop, Kopiko, 2Go, among others would also give treats to the devotees.

Asked if the city government will house street dwellers, Labella said that they may look into it, but admitted that the Devotee City was made for the devotees of the Holy Child.

“Tan-awn nato. Tingali nanganhi for the purpose of begging and not necessarily as devotee, of course they will not qualify,” he said.

Labella said the city government will also consider the possible extension of operation of the Devotee City for the International Eucharistic Congress, which will be held the week after the fiesta.

“Aside from our sponsors, there are groups that committed to provide some kind of donations by way of foods for the devotees,” he said.

Also, Labella said the city government has removed some parts of the center island along the Osmeña Boulevard, and Pope John Paul II Avenue, among others.

“Center islands are temporarily removed because number one, for safety reasons kay wala tay pedestrian lanes. They have to be removed to give more space to the participants of the Grand Parade and also for the procession,” he said.

The parts that were removed will be returned and fixed on Monday, he assured.

“It would help ease the congestion, not just traffic congestion, but congestion brought about by the number of devotees and participants of the Sinulog Grand Parade this Sunday and the fluvial procession (this Saturday),” he said.

Meanwhile, City Councilor David Tumulak reminded all business establishments along the carousel routes of the policy being imposed by the city.

This includes no bottles, liquors, chairs, tables, among others, along the sidewalk of the Sinulog Grand Parade carousel route.

Tumulak, who heads the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, said the new policy is for the security of all spectators.

“No parking” along the carousel route would also be implemented.

He said the CCDRRMC has prepared for several emergencies, including fire, earthquake, among others.

With this, he urged the spectators to be more vigilant while enjoying the Grand Parade.

Tumulak also asked the public to inform the city’s Command Control Center in case of emergency for faster response.

Further, he said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines limits the number of choppers that will take to the air during the Grand Parade.

These choppers are urged to be 700-foot away from the ground and to avoid flying low at restricted areas to prevent accidents.

Tumulak said 22 barangay firetrucks and 22 ambulances are deployed in all parts of the city for the Sinulog. – (FREEMAN)


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