P40-M repairs of oval start in summer

01/18/2011 - WITH the Sinulog over, the manager of the Cebu City Sports Center will now attend to repairing the rubberized track of the oval.


The P40-million repairs will start in summer, not now when it’s rainy, Sports Center manager Ricky Ballesteros said yesterday.

The track oval, which has Olympic dimensions, was built in 1994 in time for Cebu’s hosting of the Palarong Pambansa. It has taken a beating from constant use and most especially from the large Sinulog floats that run on it every January.


Ballesteros expects the track to be closed for two months for the repairs.


There will be no running and jogging during the repair period, but the rest of the activities at the Sports Center will go on, he said.


Bidding on the works will be on Jan 26.


Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wants the comfort rooms in the Sports Center also improved.


He noted some things that need to be improved in the Sinulog from Sunday’s experience—crowd control, signs, chairs, photographers’ area, awarding program, ticketing system, and use of tents to shield spectators from rain or sun.


Contingency


Had it rained harder last Sunday, he would have been compelled to cancel the grand parade, he said.


Rama had contacted the Asian College of Technology, the University of San Carlos Main Campus and Boys High School, Sacred Heart for Boys, and Baragays Apas, Zapatera, Lorega and T. Padilla to house the contingents in their gyms.


All these areas are along the carousel route.


Dancing and judging would have been at the Sacred Heart.


Asked if this would be the same contingency plan for Sinulog 2012, Rama replied that the Cebuanos pray for good weather.


PNoy’s presence


The mayor again said that President Aquino delayed the Sinulog program.


He said Aquino’s invitation and confirmation came in late and so there wasn’t much time to prepare for his presence.


He also defended the Presidential Security Guards (PSG) whom people found very strict.


Some Sinulog judges had complained that the PSG blocked their view of the stage at the VIP section. Aquino stayed at the VIP section and the guards were all over and would not budge even with the plea of a judge.


Rama said that is how a president is guarded even in other countries.


Incentives


City Hall will give incentives to street sweepers for their quick hauling of at least 326 tons of garbage just hours after the Sinulog Grand Parade.


They will each get a sack of rice and a shirt.


Incentives also await employees of the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom), department of engineering and public works (DEPW) and Squatters Prevention, Elimination and Encroachment Division (Speed) for performing their job well, Mayor Michael Rama said.


At least 600 street sweepers collected leftover food, plastic bags, styrofoam, water bottles and other meal packaging left by revelers along the parade route and at the Cebu City Sports Center.


The street sweepers are members of “Operation Sinaw,” a special team created by City Hall at the start of the Sinulog activities.


326 tons


In an interview, DPS Head Dionisio Gualisa said the 326 tons of garbage were collected from the sports center and along the carousel route, including Gen. Maxilom Ave. and OsmeƱa Blvd.


Compared to regular days when they collect only 250 to 500 tons of garbage, Gualisa said the 326 tons picked up from the specific area was a lot.


Because of their sacrifice during the Sinulog and for continuously working until all roads were cleared of garbage, Rama promised to give incentives to all the garbage
collectors.


Police alert


The police will remain on security alert until tomorrow, Cebu City Police Office Director Ramon Melvin Buenafe said.


He told reporters yesterday that the police controlled the crowd throughout the Sinulog festivities.


For next year, he plans to provide snacks and packed meals to the police teams instead of cash.


Buenafe said most of the police personnel assigned to control the crowd left their post to eat lunch. He also plans to arm them with truncheons.


The police got P70 each for food allowance, on top of the P50 that the Cebu City Government gave them last Sunday.


Buses


Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has reported that 18 buses ferried Sinulog revelers to certain destinations after the Grand Parade.


LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said each bus took four trips.


Most of the passengers were southbound.


The fare was P7 per passenger and not the official minimum rate of P8.50 for buses.


Cuizon thanked the presidents of bus operators groups namely Julieto Flores of the Cebu South Mini Bus Operators Association (CSMBOA) and Richard Corominas of the Cebu Provincial Operators Association (CPBOA) for responding to his request to deploy buses after the Sinulog show to prevent revelers from being stranded due to lack of transport facility. (Sun Star)

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