Papal Nuncio to celebrate mass at Basilica

PAPAL Nuncio to the Philippines Most Rev. Gabriele Caccia along with other high-ranking Church officials will arrive in Cebu today, Nov. 13, 2019 for the launching of the quincentennial celebration of the arrival of the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu.

Security will be tight inside and outside the Basilica del Sto. Niño as Caccia will preside over Mass at 5 p.m. before an estimated 6,000 devotees who are expected to flock to the Basilica to join the activity.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) officer-in-charge P/Col. Giovanie Maines said that beginning 1 p.m., members of CCPO’s inspection and explosive ordnance disposal unit with K-9 dogs will sweep the premises and will ask churchgoers already inside the Basilica to go out to first have their bags subjected to inspection.

“From morning, there should be no more vehicles parked along the vicinity of the church; otherwise, we will have them towed away,” Maines warned motorists in Tagalog.

Motorists who plan to pass through Osmeña Boulevard, D. Jakosalem St., P. Burgos St., Legaspi St. and Magallanes St. are advised to come early as parts of these roads will be closed starting 8 a.m.

The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO), on its Facebook page, announced that the roads will reopen only after the activities at the Basilica end Wednesday.

Due to the road closures, the CCTO has rerouted some passenger jeepneys and advised the public to obey traffic signs to avoid road congestion.

Public utility jeepneys (PUJ) coming from Carbon Public Market passing along M.C. Briones St. are advised not to turn left to D. Jakosalem St.

PUJs coming from Pit-os and Talamban with route nos. 13B, 62B, 62C and 65B traversing along M.C. Briones St., are advised to turn left to Lapulapu St., then turn left to V. Gullas St., turn right to D. Jakosalem St., then to their usual route up to their point of destination.

Meanwhile, PUJs coming from Banawa, Guadalupe and Capitol passing through M.J. Cuenco Ave. are advised to take a left turn to Osmeña Blvd., turn right to Lapulapu St., turn left to Legaspi St., then turn left to Plaridel Extn., turn right to Osmeña Blvd., and to their usual route, then to their point of destination.

Route nos. 06A and 07A, while traversing along Magallanes St., are advised to turn right to Calderon St., turn left to Lincoln St., then turn left to F. Gonzales St., turn left to Magallanes St., and then to their usual route.

For route nos. 08E and 08G, PUJs are advised to turn right to D. Jakosalem St. while traversing along Colon St., then turn right to V. Gullas St., and to their usual route, then to their point of origin.

Route no. 08F, while traversing along Colon St., shall turn left to Mabini St., turn right to Zulueta St., to V. Sotto St., turn left to S. Osmeña Blvd., and to their usual route.

PUJs with route nos. 09C along P. Burgos St. shall turn right to Legaspi St., turn left to V. Gullas St., turn right to Magallanes St., then to their usual route; while route no. 09H shall turn right to D. Jakosalem St., turn right to V. Gullas St., turn right to Magallanes St., then to their usual route.

PUJs for route nos. 10D and 10E shall turn right to D. Jakosalem St., turn right to V. Gullas St., turn right to Magallanes St., then to their usual route.

PUJs coming from Inayawan with route no. 11A, while traversing along Magallanes St., shall turn left to Borromeo St., turn left to Colon St., then to their usual route; while Route No. 11D, while traversing along Mabini St., shall turn right to V. Gullas St., turn right to Magallanes St., to their usual route.

PUJs coming from Labangon with route no. 12A, while traversing along Magallanes St., should turn right to Calderon St., turn left to Lincoln St., turn left to F. Gonzales St., turn left to Magallanes St., then to their usual route, while route no. 12C passing along Colon St. shall turn right to D. Jakosalem St., turn right to V. Gullas St., turn right to Borromeo St., then to their usual route.

Route nos. 12B, 12D and 12M shall turn right to Legaspi St., turn left to Plaridel Extn., to Plaridel St., then to their usual route; route no. 12J, while traversing along Colon St., shall turn left to Mabini St., turn right to Zulueta St., to V. Sotto St., turn left to S. Osmeña Blvd., and to their usual route; and route no. 12M passing along Sikatuna St. to Mabini St. should turn right to V. Gullas St., turn right to Magallanes St. then to their point of destination.

The CCTO asked PUJ operators and drivers to follow all traffic signs installed on the re-routing area to avoid any traffic congestion.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella is confident that Cebu City is “well prepared” for the event, especially in the aspect of disaster preparedness, security and safety.

CCPO will deploy around 500 policemen at the Basilica and in surrounding areas.

For his part, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma remained optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte would somehow change his stand regarding the Church’s celebration of 500 years of Christianity in 2021.

“For all I know, when the celebration, the climax of the celebration would have arrived, would have come, he (Duterte) would be there. We plan without presuming that he would be present and the plan will go ahead,” Palma said. (AYB, JJL, FMD)