‘Devotees City’ can shelter fewer out-of-town Sinulog pilgrims this year
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Fewer devotees can be accommodated in this year’s Devotee City in Compania Maritima at the South Road Properties due to the reduced number of container vans installed in the compound.
According to Jerome Mañego, the public service foreman of Cebu City’s Department of Public Services and manager of the Devotee City, they have to reduced the number of out-of-town pilgrims that they can house since only 58 container vans were installed at Compania Maritima.
Mañego said that shipping company 2GO provided 88 20-foot container vans for the Devotee City but the city government has only so far transported 58 containers to the Devotee City and there is no longer time to transport and install the rest into habitable units.
Mañego said the Cebu provincial government provided a cash aid to Cebu City to help defray the expenses of towing the container vans to the Compania Maritima but because of the lack of time, the city decided to stop the transfer.
“Wala na tay oras nya mag-install pa ta. So lisod na if ato pang padayunon ang pagbalhin sa container vans. Ato nalang siguon ang unsay naa,” said Mañego.
Mañego said that in 2018, at least 3,100 Sto. Niño devotees, mostly from the towns of Cebu province and from its neighboring provinces, were given shelter at the Devotee City, which is located just meters away from the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. This year, however, he said they could only house about 2,000 pilgrims.
“Pero tan-awon pa nato kay last time luag pa man to. Basin karon, makaabot gihapon tag 3,000 depende sa arrangement sa mga tawo,” he said.
The Devotee City will have its soft opening tomorrow, January 17, at 3 p.m. and will fully open on Friday, January 18.
Mañego said the devotees will need to present their bus tickets or boat tickets upon registration to prove that they came from the provinces.
“We now accept devotees from Naga City and Carcar as well,” he said, referring to the two cities in southern Cebu.
In the absence of a travel ticket, adult devotees may bring a copy of their barangay certificate of residence and present this upon registration.
“Ako lang awhag kay ig abot nila dinhi mo-follow sila sa house rules,” said Mañego.
The Devotee City currently has 27 portable toilets and 10 shower rooms that can be used by the pilgrims. These facilities will be maintained by the Cebu city government./elb
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