CEBU CITY, Philippines – The city government here headed by Mayor Tomas Osmeña through the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC) is preparing for the holiday season especially the observance of Dawn Masses and the Sinulog 2018 celebration.

In its regular meeting Monday this week, the CCDRRMC aims to ensure the safety and security of everyone throughout the big events in the city.

The CCDRRMC set a security and emergency plans such as establishment of command posts and stations for emergency quick response teams, standby of Ambulances and Fire Engines, well-coordinated deployment of personnel and volunteers from the different agencies and organizations, answering various concerns and coming up with additional security interventions gearing towards a peaceful and successful celebrations.

There will be Command Posts to all Churches who will be observing the Dawn Masses from December 16-24 as well as on Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations.

Uniformed Personnel from the Cebu City Police Office, Armed Forces of the Philippines in the Central Command, Barangay Tanods, Volunteers and Intelligence Networks will also be on prowl on bad elements. Check points will be set up along with increase of Police Visibility and monitoring with the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Tarpaulins containing emergency hotlines will also be in place in major areas in the city.

CCDRRMC head Nagiel B. Bañacia also reminded the public to remain vigilant and cautious, adding that the same system for everyone’s security and safety during the Christmas Season will be used for the Sinulog celebration in the month January next year.

Harold Alcontin, head for operations of CCDRRMC bared that improvements in the safety and security measures inside and within the vicinity of the Basílica Menore del Santo Niño especially on the entry and exit points will be implemented.

An estimated of more than three thousand devotees are expected to attend in every scheduled Novena Masses in honor of the Holy Child Jesus Señor Santo Niño towards His Festivity on the third Sunday of January.

The CCDRRMC expects thousands of Cebuanos and visitors alike to attend the dawn masses especially on the first and last days in the major churches in the 80 villages in the city and more spectators to partake in the different religious, social and cultural activities lined-up for the Sinulog Festival 2018.

In the meantime, several meetings are being conducted by the different offices in the city for the Christmas and Sinulog 2018 celebrations.

The Cebu City Government employees will have a General Christmas Party on December 19 at Plaza Sugbo fronting Cebu City Hall.

Meanwhile, to preserve both the safety of the Cebuanos and the sanctity of the Sinulog, the Cebu City Government will imposed a strict measures on selling liquors and alcoholic beverages as well as holding parties and outdoor events.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña earlier warned bar owners and event organizers citing that, “If your business falls within the red borders of this Sinulog Route map, you will NOT be allowed to sell alcohol during the Sinulog from 6AM Sunday to 6AM the next day. Also, no parties or outdoor events will be allowed for the entire duration of Sinulog weekend starting Friday evening.”

The mayor added that any such events are to take place in the South Road Properties (SRP), where you will be expected to submit a security plan and resources to contribute towards the establishment of a fully-staffed medical triage that will function for the duration of the event + 4 hours.

The city will also be implementing a registration system to all vendors who will be selling within the vicinity of the route of Sinulog Grand Parade. It will be facilitated by the Cebu City Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) and the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE).

Genevieve Alcoseba, operations head of DWUP shared that they will start the registration of vendors for Sinulog 2018 by mid-December this year, adding that it will help the city to control and monitor vendors during the Sinulog Festivity. (By: Greggy P. Senados / City of Cebu, Public Information Office)