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Heavy traffic today

(The Freeman) - April 26, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Parts of two major streets will be closed from 3 p.m. until evening today to accommodate activities to be held at the Provincial Capitol grounds where President Benigno Aquino III is expected to attend.

The stretch of Escario St. from Don Gil Garcia Street up to Juana Osmeña Street will be closed, as well as the stretch of Osmeña Boulevard from Escario St. up to M.P. Yap Street.

Cebu City Transportation Office Chief Operation Jonathan Tumulak advised motorists to avoid these areas and take alternative routes. He said vehicles from Guadalupe heading to Fuente Osmeña should use Don Gil Garcia Street On the other hand, vehicles from Lahug and Gorordo Avenue heading to Fuente Osmeña should turn left to Juana Osmeña Street.

He added that they will assign 40 personnel to man traffic in these areas.

Tight security will be implemented today at the vicinity of the Provincial Capitol for the visit of Aquino who will also be joining the Liberal Party candidates in a rally to be held at the Capitol grounds.

Ramil Abing, executive assistant of Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III and also LP Cebu coordinator, said the Capitol will serve as the temporary quarters of Aquino as well as LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas and his slate as requested by the Presidential Security Group.

A walk-through metal detector was installed yesterday at the entrance to the Governor’s Office which will be the only entrance to be used today. He added that only the backdoor of the Capitol main building will be utilized as the only exit point. Abing said PSG and PNP personnel will be detailed within the Capitol compound to man the area.

Around 60 PSG personnel were set to be billeted in the classrooms of the Guadalupe Elementary School yesterday in line with today’s activities.

Busy day

Before joining the rally, Aquino will grace the 2016 Pre-Labor Day Job and Career Fair and the distribution of salaries for the Special Program for Employment of Students of the Department of Labor and Employment at the Mandaue City Sports Complex.

A total of 46 employers will offer an initial 17,639 job vacancies in the fields like construction, electronic assembly, masonry, carpentry, welding, tile setting, hotel and restaurant, and medical care.

 Around 5:30 p.m. Aquino will proceed to the Capitol grounds to join the proclamation rally of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan.

 Roxas and his running mate Leni Robredo are also expected to join Aquino at the Capitol grounds.

More traffic

Meanwhile CCTO Executive Director Rey Gealon also approved the request of Msgr. Renato Beltran Jr., to hold a procession today starting 5 p.m. for the celebration of the feast of the patron saint of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral San Vidal Martyr.

He said that they are anticipating heavy traffic around 5 p.m. in the downtown area, especially along the portions of Osmeña Boulevard, M.J. Cuenco, Bonifacio, Sikatuna, Mabini, D. Jakosalem and Legaspi streets where the procession will pass.

Gealon said around a dozen of personnel in the affected areas will be fielded to guide traffic. A huge crowd is expected to join the procession.

Beltran said in his letter request that with the Novena Masses offered, the celebration would not be complete without the holding of a solemn procession.

On Thursday the half of Osmeña Blvd. for vehicles headed to downtown Cebu City will also be closed for a parade in relation to the celebration of the 450th Kaplag anniversary.

Five Sinulog contingents will start dancing from the Osmeña Rotunda at 3 p.m., making their way to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño

“Kining mga contingents coming from Cebu City, Iloilo, ug uban pa nga gi-invite nga mo-apil. Mahitabo magsugod alas 3 sa hapon pero mag-start na mi og man sa area ala-una, among giawhag sa mga tawo nga kung wala sila’y tuyo sa Fuente to Osmeña to basilica ila lang gihapon likayan,” Tumulak said.

He added that motorists should avoid these areas once the parade starts.

“Nagsabot nami ni (Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director) Ricky Ballesteros, part sa plan sa traffic nga once nga daghan na ang sakyan nga matanggong sa intersection, mo-give way sila, stop sa ang mga, contingent habwa sa mga sakyanan,” he said.

He confirmed that they will not totally close the street but assured that there are alternative routes to take including F. Ramos and V. Rama Avenue.

The estimated arrival of the contingents at the basilica will be from 7 to 8 p.m., after which they will immediately open the streets to traffic. In all the contingents will have around 300 to 400 dancers.  — with Rowena D. Capistrano/BRP (FREEMAN)

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