Labella to Solemn Foot Procession organizers: Start on time, be sensitive to devotees and volunteers
CEBU CITY, Philippines–Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella called for the organizers of the Solemn Foot Procession to be considerate and sensitive to devotees and volunteers alike.
While acknowledging the peaceful and orderly success of the Solemn Foot Procession, Labella has suggested for the Augustinian friars from the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nińo de Cebu to commence the Solemn Foot Procession on time to spare the people from waiting ‘under the scorching heat of the sun’ for the walk to move.
“Organizers should be sensitive. Once the assembly area and the time of when the procession starts are established, people should move right away,” Labella told reporters in a press interview on Monday, January 20, 2020, during the Sinulog 2020 Awarding Ceremony.
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According to Labella, he observed that there was a gap between the assembly time and the time when the foot procession will move, a scenario, he said, that stalled the thousands joining the solemn event.
“Based on the schedule published, the foot procession was to start around 12 noon. But the movement only started past 1 p.m. The time between and you can just imagine what the people endured under the scorching heat of the sun,” he added.
The mayor, who was seen participating in the procession last Saturday, January 18, 2020, added that he witnessed and received several reports of devotees and volunteers who fainted.
Labella also said he finds these instances as ‘saddening and depressing’.
“I saw a devotee from Hawaii who collapsed because of the heat. It’s saddening and depressing. And very unhealthy,” Labella said.
Over 2.3 million participated in the four-and-a-half-hour foot procession that spanned to a six-kilometer route, covering the areas of D. Jakosalem Street, Colon Street, Leon Kilat Street, J. Alcantara Street, V. Rama Avenue, B. Rodriguez Street, Fuente Osmeña Circle, and Osmeña Boulevard.
The Solemn Foot Procession is part of the annual Fiesta Señor Celebration in Cebu that allows the public to venerate the Señor Sto. Niño. /bmjo
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