51st IEC ‘successful’

By Carmel Loise Matus, Doris C. Bongcac, Jose Santino S. Bunachita |February 01,2016 - 01:55 AM

CEBU City, Church and police officials said the week-long International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) which ended with the Statio Orbis or “Stations of the World” Mass at the South Road Properties was a success.

No rain fell on the ground which was still muddy when nearly a million people attended the Mass.

“The flow and display of bayanihan (community) and volunteerism was clear among the Cebuanos. We thank all those involved,” Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said.

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, who heads the Command Control Center, said mass-goers started to arrive at 11 a.m. and filled the lot where the San Pedro Calungsod templete is located at 2 p.m.

He said the crowd occupied 15 hectares of the 26-hectare lot, part of which is occupied by the templete. The muddy portion was covered with used tarpaulin sheets by the SRP management.

Tumulak said the entry of buses and other vehicles transporting the delegates caused traffic congestion along the South Coastal Road tunnel and along N. Bacalso Avenue, the city’s southern corridor.

The Cebu City Transportation Office closed the South Coastal Road to vehicular traffic. Some people opted to walk instead along the seaside lane of the South Coastal Highway to get to the Calungsod templete area.

By 8 p.m. all roads near the SRP were already opened to vehicles,

Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, Police Regional Office chief, said no major incidents were reported during the Mass except for four persons who sought medical aid when they felt the onset of hypertension.

“It was one big successful event held very peacefully and orderly,” Gaerlan said.

He said police estimates placed the crowd at the SRP at 450,000. But Tumulak said it reached 907, 641 based on their computation.

Gaerlan said 5,633 security and civilian personnel were fielded during the Mass, not counting the 5,000 volunteers of the IEC.

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