Rama wants Sinulog parade moved to NRA
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/FPL (The Freeman) - January 21, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Aiming to disperse the people in different areas in Cebu City during the Sinulog Grand Parade, suspended Ma-yor Michael Rama wants to transfer the carousel route next year to the North Reclamation Area.

He made the announcement in his capa-city as the chairman of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. during a press conference yesterday.

“The carousel route, if and when will be there, it will be reduced by way of dispersal. I think it is about time because of the number of people coming for Sinulog,” he told reporters.

Rama said he will ask the Cebu Contractors Association to pool all their resources to construct a 50,000-seating capacity grand stand at Block 27 in NRA, where the ritual showdown will take place. It would accommodate more people than the 15,000-capacity of the Cebu City Sports Center.

“It will reduce the problem in terminal, problem in ACT (Asian College of Technology) area, problem in Mango, I’ve been looking at,” he said.

He said there will be seats that will be for free and seats for sale since the SFI also needs to earn. Rama, however, said it is not going to be a permanent grand stand because it will be used only for the next three years.

Rama said the new route will start near Queen City Memorial Gardens in A. Soriano Avenue to General Ma-xilom Avenue Extension to Sergio Osmeña Boulevard to Juan Luna Avenue Extension then to Block 27 in NRA.

Rama inspected the possible route yesterday with the media, measuring the length of the possible route which is over six kilometers, the same with the old route.

This year, he said the number of police and security was not enough in the area of crowd control.

“With that NRA, which is really huge and less division, we will not have the issue of Osmeña Boulevard that has an island and we will not have also problem on much revelers because we will be going out from the Mango Avenue and we will be getting out from the Osmeña Rotunda,” Rama said, adding that activities will be spread in Fuente Rotunda, Cebu City Sports Center, NRA, Plaza Independencia, SRP, among others.

Block 27 is where the Cebu City Transportation Office used to park impounded vehicles.

“I am the chairman. They weren’t around when I was putting the carousel route in 2002. I was the one putting the carousel in 2002, so I will now be changing the venue for the carousel,” Rama said, when asked if he had already informed SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros about his plan.

Ballesteros said the plans of Rama will be included in the meeting with the other stakeholders today at the SFI office.

“Cebu is getting smaller for Sinulog,” he said, adding that NRA is a good option.

“Nindot nga option knowing nga there are several buildings at NRA,” he added.

Ballesteros recalled that the judges of the Sinulog Grand Parade in the early 1990s were placed at the NRA.

Ballesteros, however, said he would want the grand parade to be at the South Road Properties. But, he said it is not conducive for now because of the condition of the reclaimed lot which does not have trees.

Rama said the SRP will soon be considered as the option where the grand parade will take place.

“It won’t be permanent. It will only be for three years. After which, hoping we can transfer to SRP. Now, SRP can’t be an option yet. In three years time, SRP will be developed,” he said.

To further prepare for his plan, Rama said he will conduct a focused group discussion next month.

“I will have a focus group discussions on what are the things needed on how Block 27 will become effective then responsive to the needs of thousands or hundreds of people that will be trooping towards Block 27,” he said.  (FREEMAN)

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