Statio Orbis site readied

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita January 30,2016 - 01:30 AM
Cebu City Department of Engineering and Public Works personnel suction the rainwater that pooled in an open field where the Statio Orbis will be held at the South Road Properties. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Cebu City Department of Engineering and Public Works personnel suction the rainwater that pooled in an open field where the Statio Orbis will be held at the South Road Properties. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Forecast: Partly cloudy with sunny periods on Sunday afternoon

THE sunny weather since yesterday has helped dry up the grounds at  the South Road Properties (SRP), where the Statio Orbis  closing Mass will be held on Sunday to cap off the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC).

City Hall engineering workers suctioned out pools of  rainwater in  some areas of the open field.

A backhoe carved out grooves to serve as canals in case it rains again, said  SRP manager Roberto “Bu” Varquez.  Gravel was filled in portions behind the Pedro Calungsod templete.

“A contractor will also be donating scraped off asphalt to help us fill the areas of the venue where there are still pooling of water. We have also borrowed some steel plates from DPWH,” Varquez said.

Tarpaulin sheets have also been readied to cover up areas that are muddy.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma announced on Wednesday that the closing Mass would push through at the site on  4 p.m. on Sunday regardless of the weather since this is the only venue big enough for an expected participation of 1 million people.

State weather bureau Pagasa has forecast partly  cloudy to clear skies today. On Sunday, it will be cloudy with a few showers in the morning and sunny periods in the afternoon. Fine weather is expected in the evening.

Portions of the Calungsod templete were flooded after three days of monsoon rains, prompting organizers to consider moving the closing Mass to another venue.

No roads will be closed in the SRP during the event but trucks and vans are not allowed while the Mass is going on.

Parking areas have been designated for the participants, said Fr. Wendell Balbuena, IEC Transportation Committee head.

VIP guests, bishops and other Church officials will be asked to park at the back of the templete, which can accommodate 150 vehicles. Buses carrying the IEC delegates will also be parked there.

Those coming from southern Cebu can park in a 1.4-kilometer stretch of road near the Kasadya sa SRP. If it’s not enough, the Pardo Access Road will also be used as parking area.

Those coming from northern Cebu can park near the old Compania Maritima building in front of City Hall as well as in the closed portions of Legaspi Extension and Arellano Blvd.

Motorcycles can  park in an open space just after the SRP-Mambaling Access Road.

“Fifteen Kaohsiung buses will be taking people from the designated parking areas starting 12 noon until 4 p.m.,” Varquez said. Drop-off point is in front of SM Seaside City Cebu.

Varquez said SM Seaside will also open its parking area for both mallgoers and IEC participants. Their facility can accommodate 3,000 vehicles.

The Kaohsiung buses will transport the people back to their designated parking areas by 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. until the end of the mass.

“As much as possible, we are encouraging the people to come to the venue early so that they won’t contribute to the traffic,” Balbuena said.

On site, only 16,000 monobloc chairs will be put up by City Hall. These will be used mostly by the IEC delegates and guests. Other participants are advised to bring their own chairs.

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