Rain floods Mass site ahead of event

Posted on November 21, 2012


Construction workers rush to clear the flooded San Pedro Calungsod templete, the venue for the Thanksgiving Mass on Nov. 30 (TONEE DESPOJO)

WITH barely a week to go before the national thanksgiving Mass for St. Pedro Calungsod, the Cebu Archdiocese is faced with a major problem.

The area intended for dignitaries was flooded with rain water after a heavy downpour early yesterday morning.

Most of the 27-hectare venue at the South Road Properties (SRP) is filled with mud and boulders.

Some visitors have to use boots in going to the site while a vehicle got stuck in mud.

Workers stopped using heavy equipment in the area so loose soil and limestone or anapog that were spread out in the area won’t get destroyed.

Trucks, however, continue to dump limestone there.

“We have to address the issue (on flooding). I’m hopeful that this will be addressed. We still have time,” Fr. Brian Brigoli, co-chairman of the committee on venue, told Cebu Daily News.

He said they have to build canals in the area to solve the flooding.

Most of the area that got flooded was earlier sprayed with cement by SM Cebu City which is responsible for the site development.

“There is still something to do. SM is working (to solve the problem),” Brigoli said.

Workers have to drain the water through a pipe towards a river at the back of the templete. Brigoli admitted that rain has affected their work pace.

He said the area that got flooded yesterday was only seven percent of the entire venue. John Gerzon, site supervisor, agreed.

“Dili katrabaho tungod kay naay mahadlok ma-slide unya dili mahimo mag-welding. (Workers may slip while welding works have to be halted due to the rain),” he said.

He said its up to the organizing committee to have a contingency plan in case the venue gets flooded on Nov. 30.

“Rain or shine man gyud ang celebration. (The celebration would be rain or shine),” Gerzon said.

Workers yesterday constructed the base for the choir stand beside the templete.

The templete, on one hand, is almost finished, said Brigoli. He yesterday met with the florists and the landscapers.

The Cebu Archdiocese expects 3,000 VIPs composed of 50 church dignitaries, 100 government and civil society leaders, 300 archbishops and bishops, 700 clergy members, 2,000 choir members and 200 orchestra members.

President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay are expected to attend the celebration.

Church officials, including at least four cardinals, will also be around.

Chief Insp. Romeo Santander, chief of the Cebu City police’s Intelligence Branch (CIB) said they’re coordinating with their counterparts in the province and region

to monitor the presence of criminal elements in the province.

Last Monday, a dry run was done by the San Pedro Calungsod Security Task Force at the 27-hectare site for the Mass at the SRP. /Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol with Correspondent Chito Aragon

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