Fiesta Señor: New routes for foot processions, CCTO to tow vehicles that cause obstruction
CEBU CITY, Philippines — As the celebration for the 459th Fiesta Señor is getting closer, the public who would like to attend the solemn foot procession can expect new routes for next year’s religious activities.
The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño met with the Cebu media on Wednesday, November 15, to tackle the preparations for the Fiesta Señor 2024.
Among the highlights of the event are the routes for the Penitential Walk with Jesus, Penitential Walk with Mary, and the Solemn Foot Procession of the Venerable Image of Sto. Niño de Cebu.
Because of the ongoing construction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City, new routes had to be made.
Fr. John Ion Miranda, head for safety, security, peace and order, and secretariat for the Fiesta Señor 2024, said that for the past two months, they met with representatives from the Cebu City government and the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the BRT admin.
“Based on the assessment for the sake nga ato gyung ma-secure and for safety, we decided to change the route because of the development [of BRT],” Miranda said which was also supported by a representative from the DOTr.
Moreover, Miranda said that the changes are also for the safety of the devotees or attendees.
Considering that the roads covered by the new routes are narrower compared to the previous routes, Miranda said that they still could not yet give their estimated number of attendees.
“As of now, we don’t have the figures but we do adopt. We continuously assess the situation. Ang difference lang gyud is the route from Ramos to Junquera is a little bit smaller. But we do [have a] projection nga since daghan kaayong mga streets anha [nga area] we could divert the devotees and we would try to exhaust our volunteers to secure our route,” Miranda added.
CCTO to tow vehicles, not clamp
The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) noted the challenges concerning the new routes.
CTTO Head Raquel Arce advised motorists to park their vehicles in areas that would not obstruct the new routes for the foot processions for Fiesta Señor 2024.
“We will be giving information especially on the residences nga naa diha sa area [affected by the route] kay basig anha nila i-park ang ilahang mga sakyanan, wala nata’y clamping nga pagabuhaton. Towing nata diretso,” Arce said.
She added that if they would clamp the vehicle, it could still cause an “obstruction.”
“I hope mo abot ni sa mga residente nga yano kaayong mogamit sa ilahang kalsada…di na kasud sa gate. During this scheduled foot procession, kining Walk with Jesus and Mary, sa anang mga panahona unta, ilahang isakriprisyo ilahang kaugalingon nga dili sila mo gamit sa dan,” Arce added.
She added that they would also implement rerouting for public vehicles, but the CCTO is yet to finalize the new routes.
Moreover, to avoid ‘stampedes’, Arce said that they already discussed it with other law enforcement agencies and planned to allow the public to use the diversion routes, as Miranda earlier said.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Councilor Philip Zafra, a member of the committee for Sinulog 2024 preparations, said that it would not be the first time that the public would pass through the new routes for Fiesta Señor.
“The past years nag utilize sad ta aning maong ruta, Alcantara and Junquera. Sa karon mao ni atoang gi-identify nga hagip-ot kaayo nga agianan. Aside from towing, illegal structures will be demolished. Atong probe team mao’y atong gitahasan niana, then kanang unsay display kanang mga tinda-tinda [along the routes] ato gyud nang gibawal gyud,” Zafra said.
He added that the streets in F. Ramos, within the vicinity of Barangay Cogon Ramos barangay hall and gym could be used as diversion routes, then proceed to Barangay Day-as, in case there would be more people attending the Fiesta Señor processions.
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