Private cars must stay off JPaul II Avenue Nov. 22-23
Private cars cannot use half of Pope John Paul II Avenue in Cebu City at certain hours on November 22 and 23, Sunday and Monday.
The dry run for traffic rerouting for January’s International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) will test public response to the changes.
But jeepneys and taxis can ply their usual routes here.
The stretch from F. Cabahug Street (corner Leona Cakes and Pastries) in barangay Mabolo to the Tesda flyover will be closed to private vehicles from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 22 (Sunday) and 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on November 23 (Monday).
The IEC preparations were explained yesterday in a press conference with Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo and traffic managers in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
“We are testing our plans whether they are feasible,” said the bishop.
With 15,000 delegates expected for the religious conference and large crowds for open air Masses, at least three Catholic schools have decided not to hold class during the week-long event.
He said the University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of San Carlos, and St. Theresa’s College will not hold classes during the IEC from January 24 to 31.
Villarojo said the archdiocese is waiting for the the response of the Department on Education on whether classes in public schools will be affected.
About 100 air-conditioned Ceres buses will transport delegates from their hotels to the IEC Pavilion being built in the Archdiocesan seminary complex along JP II Avenue in barangay Mabolo.
Five carousel bus routes will be adopted.
No full road closures will be implemented, except during Holy Mass where large crowds will attend mass at the Cebu Capitol, Plaza Independencia, and the South Road Properties
Bishop Villarojo appealed to motorists and the riding public to be patient with the traffic rerouting schemes during the dry run and the IEC.
“There will always be inconvenience if we host events of great magnitude like the IEC. But we’re doing this for the glory of God, and the honor of Cebu and the country. We make sacrifices. But we can minimize the inconvenience if we are aware of what will happen and make the necessary adjustments,” he said.
Vehicle passes will be issued to residents and owners of establishments near the Pavilion, Villarojo said.
“Cebu is ready to handle large-scale events,” said lawyer Rafael Yap, former traffic chief and now head of the Cebu-Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Implementing Office.
But unlike the hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings in Cebu last September, Yap said authorities don’t have to close main roads in Cebu City for a long time.
Public utility vehicles don’ts have to be curtailed, he said, since most IEC delegates will use public transportation to get to the Pavilion.
“That’s the scene we’re proposing—to maximize the free flow of traffic in the area,” he said.
Glen Antigua of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue said they are also preparing for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ assembly which will be held a week before the IEC.
He said Mandaue is willing to send their staff to assist enforcers in Cebu City.
Frank Brazil of the Lapu-Lapu City Traffic Management System advised the public to take a ferry boat ride from mainland Cebu to Lapu-Lapu.
“Traffic in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue is tremendous. It has gone from bad to worse at any time of the day,” he said.
On November 21, the Eucharistic Pavilion will be turned over by Duros Development Construction (DDC) to the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Related stories: Traffic reroute dry run at Pope John Paul on Nov. 22-23
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