Cebu News

Heavy traffic expected: Motorists advised on Mary’s visit

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Marian devotees in Cebu City will have the opportunity to see the image of the Birhen sa Simala in Barangay Lindogon, Sibonga as it visits the city today.

This as the Cebu City Transportation Office warns motorists of heavy traffic today, particularly around IEC Pavilion in Barangay Mabolo where a Marian concert will be held, with thousands of devotees expected to gather.

Francisco Ouano, executive assistant of CCTO-Chief Operation, said that the executive committee has agreed that no road closures shall be imposed.

However, intersections will be temporarily blocked and affected roads will be shortly cleared as the convoy will traverse from Sibonga to Cebu City this morning. The image is set to arrive at the IEC Pavilion by noon.

This road scheme will also be adopted during the "holy caravan" from the IEC Pavilion to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu late afternoon tomorrow.

With the busy streets, Ouano said they will designate traffic enforcers along the routes of the convoy, especially on major thoroughfares. (The routes were not disclosed for security reasons.)

At the IEC Pavilion, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is scheduled to officiate the 12 noon Mass, which will be followed by the veneration of the image and people's vigil.

The IEC Pavilion will be emptied at 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. for the preparation of the concert, one of the highlights of the Marian pilgrimage, set from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

After the concert, the people may continue with the veneration and vigil overnight.

With the several activities lined up, Ouano said they are expecting a moderate to heavy traffic today especially in the afternoon when students and workers start heading for home.

With this, he added, the executive committee agreed to prioritize Pope John Paul II Avenue, formerly Juan Luna Avenue, a two-lane road that directly leads to the IEC Pavilion.

Motorists who don't need to pass near the venue are advised to divert to other routes to control the number of vehicles plying near the area.

Ouano said they planned to augment the CCTO personnel along the entire stretch of the road.

He said the traffic enforcers are tasked to guide motorists to prevent vehi-cular buildup and assist pedestrians to ensure safety and prevent road blockage.

They will also be directing the pilgrims on the entrance and exit points and the designated parking areas.

The traffic scheme has been laid out two weeks ago when preparations for the event had been started.

There were minor changes made lately though, according to Ouano, when they were advised that there would be no foot procession from the IEC Pavilion to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu.

The convoy going to the basilica is set from 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. It will be followed with a healing Mass that will be presided over by the singing Boholano priest Jonas Mejares. (FREEMAN)

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