Two-day congestion in 14 church routes due to IEC events
Commuters and motorists are advised by traffic officials to avoid routes leading to 14 churches in Metro Cebu this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon.
At least 4,000 delegates are expected to join this afternoon’s Parish Encounters, one of several activities lined up for the week-long 51st International Eucharistic Congress in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue.
Jonathan “Joy” Tumulak, operations chief of the Cebu City Transportation Office, said while there are designated parking areas for the buses that will fetch the delegates to and from the churches, they expect heavy traffic in these areas.
“Our advice to motorists is to avoid these areas as much as possible (see Table). CCTO will be deploying five to six personnel for each church. More personnel will be on standby and will be deployed depending on the situation,” he told reporters yesterday.
Tumulak said he was told by IEC organizers that the Parish Encounters will start at 4 p.m. which meant that buses will arrive as early as 2 p.m. or 3p.m.
The encounters will run for two to three hours.
“It’s possible we may reroute the passenger jeepneys and close roads depending on the situation in each area. Motorists should just follow traffic signals and enforcers,” Tumulak said.
Slow-moving traffic may again be experienced as the buses leave the parishes at 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., he said.
The traffic congestion is expected again tomorrow for the Visita Iglesia in some parishes, Tumulak said.
As early as 5 p.m., Tumulak said the CCTO will start clearing and towing motorcycles and other vehicles parked along certain portions of roads near the churches that will be closed for the activity.
There will be two sectors for the Visita Iglesia.
The first includes Our Mother of Perpetual Help-Redemptorist Church, Asilo de la Milagrosa Chapel and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart-Capitol Parish.
The roads that will be closed include Escario St., Gorordo Ave. F. Sotto Drive leading to Redemptorist Church and Juana Osmeña St.
The second sector includes Sto. Rosario Church; Sacred Heart in D. Jakosalem St., the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
The roads that will be closed for the second sector include those from Gen. Maxilom Ave. corner D. Jakosalem St. to D. Jakosalem St. corner Osmeña Blvd.; Jakosalem corner Legaspi Sts. to P. Del
Rosario corner Pelaez St.; and P. Del Rosario corner Pelaez to P. Del Rosario corner Jakosalem St.
“We’re requesting those who have transactions in businesses establishments in the affected roads to do so earlier,” Tumulak advised. He said the Visita Iglesia will start at 6 or 7 p.m.
It is expected to end by 10 p.m. at the earliest but anticipate delays, Tumulak said.
He said the CCTO will reopen the road an hour after the event ends.
“We hope the public understands that we have to clear the roads of vehicles for security reasons because we don’t know who owns them and what’s inside the vehicles,” Tumulak said.
He said the clearing of vehicles on the closed roads was requested by the police.
Those that will be cleared and towed will be brought to CCTO’s impounding area in the South Road Properties (SRP).
Owners of motorcycles will have to pay P1,500 to P2,000 as fine while owners of other vehicles will have to pay P2,500 to P3,000 to redeem their towed vehicles.
Tumulak also advised motorists to look for alternative roads to pass through in order to avoid these areas.
Margarita Matheu of the IEC Secretariat said 95 buses will be deployed to fetch the delegates in two batches at the IEC Pavilion.
The first batch of delegates will leave at 2:50 p.m., while the second batch leaves at 3:10 p.m.
Msgr. Daniel Sanico, who is coordinating the parish encounters, said registration for the Parish Encounters will close at noon today.
“This is a truly unique IEC experience that will be memorable for them,” Sanico said.
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