Getting ready for P-Noy, VIPs coming for Nov. 30’s big event

Posted on November 9, 2012

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CEBU City police are preparing for thousands of visitors, including President Benigno Aquino III and dignitaries, who will attend the Nov. 30 thanksgiving for the sainthood of Pedro Calungsod.

More than 1,500 policemen will secure the venue at the South Road Properties.

Cebu City Police Office chief Senior Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe said they are treating the religious affair as an international event with VIPs to to secure.

He said preparations are similar in scale to that of the 2007 Asean Summit hosted in Cebu.

Buenafe said they are waiting for the official guest list of the Archdiocese of Cebu and instructions from the Presidential Security Group.

ROTC cadets, police trainees and civilian agents will bet tapped.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who inspected the SRP site yesterday, said he wants vehicular traffic closed off around the venue.

“I want to make it a general rule that only the people can come in. If there are vehicles that really need to get inside the venue, it should not cause gridlock,” he said.

Rama said Calungsod devotees should be prepared to walk from the parking area to the templete site, similar to the way revelers of the Sinulog are mostly pedestrians who move around sealed streets.

SRP manager Roberto “Bo” Varquez accompanied Rama who went around the area to check on earthworks and construction.

Rama said the platform for the altar table should be made higher so that officiating priests are seen by those sitting in the front rows.

Rama got a chair and demonstrated that VIPs are seated, they can only seethe priests from his waist up.

“The best view is not in front,” he said.

He said the city government is doing its share by making public roads leading to the SRP templete presentable.

He ordered the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) to prepare a traffic plan.

“We are seeing to it that everything is in its proper place,” he said.

Rama said City Hall has to look into security and traffic preparations and address the need for emergency health services and clean food and water supply.

“Dili pwede na malipayon ta diri (sa SRP) pero sa gawas (nga kadalanan) nag bagolbol ang ubang taw kay dili na sila maka agi… My concern is not just the SRP but the whole city just like in the Sinulog,” he said.

(We cannot be in a festive mood here while people outside the SRP are complaining of traffic congestion.) /Chito O. Aragon and Doris C. Bongcac

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