Security preparations for Fiesta Señor 2022 starts

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 23,2021 - 03:30 PM
transient vendors

The pilgrim center of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — This early, officials of the Cebu City government and the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño have already started to draw out plans for security and the crowd control that will be implemented during annual feast of the Señor Sto. Niño scheduled in January 2022.

Councilor Philip Zafra, chairperson of the City Council’s peace and order committee, said it was agreed during their meeting on October 22 that Basilica friars will submit to the city government and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) their proposal on how the secure religious activities at the Basilica.

Zafra said they are expecting a larger crowd at the Basilica next year since most of the Cebuanos are now vaccinated against COVID-19 and with the improvement in the city’s quarantine status.

Still, they do not want to take chances.

Zafra said health and security measures will still be in place to ensure the safety of the Sto. Niño devotees and to prevent another surge of COVID-19 cases during the fiesta celebration.

Novena Masses will remain virtual but devotees will be allowed to enter the church grounds to light candles and venerate provided that they observe physical distancing and other health protocols.

But Zafra said all these initial plans are still subject to changes or adjustments.

“They are just considering the worst case scenario kay kahibaw ka sa atong kaso, muubas nya motaas. So, nindot gyod ilang preparations para mamaintain gyod ang health protocols,” said the councilor.

(They (Basilica friars) are considering the worst case scenario since COVID-19 cases in Cebu remain volatile, there are times when cases are high and times when cases are low.  It is always best to prepare and observe health protocols.)

Zafra said that during their October 22 meeting, city officials asked if it was possible to already hold physical masses at the Basilica’s pilgrim center.  Friars said they were open to the idea and will study the matter.

And just like last year, security preparations for the Fiesta Señor 2022 will be put to test during the Misa de Gallo in December.

Zafra admitted though that the Misa de Galo crowd is not as big as the Fiesta Señor attendance since churchgoers will be visiting the different churches in Cebu then. But this will already a good start for them to put their plans to test and make the needed adjustments. / dcb



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TAGS: Basilica, COVID-19, Fiesta Señor 2022, Pilgrim Center, security plans

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