Lobregat spearheads Holy Week preparations PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 March 2012 15:31

Mayor Celso Lobregat the other day convened the police, military, health authorities, volunteers and other concerned agencies to firm up plans for the observance of Holy Week set from April1-7.

Lobregat wanted to make sure that everything is in place for the Holy Week with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safety and protection of the people who will troop to the Climaco Freedom Park or Abong-abong in Pasonanca, Catholic churches and other places of devotion for their Lenten rituals.
The mayor has issued two executive orders, one providing for the implementation of a temporary re-routing scheme on roads leading to Mayor Cesar Climaco Freedom Park, Pasonanca for the duration of the observance of the holy week and the other one imposing a prohibition on the bringing, sale and drinking of liquor/ intoxicating drinks at the freedom park during the holy week.

“We have been coordinating with all agencies concerned for many years already and it has been proven effective”, the mayor said stressing that “the observance of holy week the past years had been orderly and peaceful so we will have to repeat the issuance of executive orders”.

The police in coordination with the military had prepared a comprehensive security plan including a traffic scheme dubbed “Oplan Semana Santa” to ensure law and order in all places of worship.

The City Health Office in coordination with other health agencies like the Zamboanga City Medical Center, Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga Chapter and other agencies will also deploy doctors and health volunteers to provide first aid to people who would be encountering health problems while doing their Lenten rituals at the Abong-abong Park.

Like in previous years, ambulances will be on stand by while mobile clinics will be set up at the Abong Abong Park and the areas leading to the park.
The holy hill at the Abong-abong Park in Upper Pasonanca is one of the centers of convergence during Holy week in Zamboanga.

The coordinative meeting held at the City Hall conference room Monday afternoon was attended by representatives from the City Police Office, Task Force Zamboanga, City Health Office, Zamboanga Red Cross, STOP DEATH, radio clubs, barangay officials from San Roque, Pasonanca, Tumaga, Sta. Maria, Baliwasan and other agencies concerned.

As this developed, Mayor Lobregat said the observance of Holy Week, which will start on Palm Sunday (April 1), will draw thousands of people from all walks of life to the Freedom Park, for the religious tradition called Stations of the Cross.

People mostly Catholic Christians are expected to converge in throngs at the Freedom Park on Holy Thursday (April 5) and will stay there overnight for the traditional vigil of Good Friday.  To prevent vehicular and pedestrian congestions, a traffic rerouting scheme is implemented.

Executive Order No.CL 442-2012 issued March 22 will take effect on April 4 from 6 a.m. to April 7. Based on the order, the road leading to Pasonanca Deep from its junction with the road leading to Elementary School up to the entrance to ZCWD Motorpool and Luyahan Housing Project will be maintained as a two-way street.

However, said road from the entrance to ZCWD Motorpool all the way to Km 6 at the entrance to Abong-Abong will be declared “one-way”, but motor vehicles coming from the ZCWD Motorpool may either turn left to the public swimming pools and exit to Pasonanca road (Jardin Maria Clara) or go all the way up to Km 6 and turn left to Pasonanca main road in to the city proper.

The order also declares the Freedom Park as “walk-in park” (off limit to vehicles) from the entrance at Km 6, Pasonanca road leading to the park via Carmen Valley, up to the exit at the junction of Pasonanca- Abong-Abong- Murrok Road and Pasonanca- Abong-Abong- Tumaga (Luyahan) road.

All types of motor vehicles, whether public conveyance or privately-owned including motorcycles and/or “habal-habal”  are barred from going into the park, except residents of Carmen Valley and Km 7 with vehicle passes issued by the barangay chairman of Pasonanca.

The road leading to the “Cruz Mayor” will be absolutely off-limit (No Entry) to even bicycles and pedicabs, and no structure for vending purposes shall be allowed or constructed on said road from Station 1 up to the “Cruz Mayor.”

The Barangay Council of Pasonanca in coordination with chief of Police Station No. 7 is tasked to designate an area for vending at the park, provided the stalls will not obstruct or impede the free-flow of people at the park.

At the same time, Lobregat issued EO No.CL 443-2012, imposing a ban or prohibition on the bringing, sale and drinking of liquor (intoxicating drinks) at the Freedom Park during the observance of the Lenten season.

Also prohibited at Freedom Park are playing of loud music and bringing of firearms, bladed weapons and other similar items.

The police have been directed to confiscate and dispose of immediately the prohibited drinks and seize the guns, bladed weapons and other similar items, and conduct the violators to the police station for investigation and filing of appropriate charges. — Sheila Covarrubias