Governor Hilario P. Davide III said Cebu was given a “huge blessing” to be able to host 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC).
“Nalipay kita kay dako kaayong nang blessing pud nato nga ang Cebu maoy gipili nga venue sa IEC,” he told the media at the Capitol last January 20.
He added that Cebu was greatly honored for being chosen as the host of the international event. And he said he was doubly proud that the Capitol waschosen as one of the venues of its activities.
On January 22, the Capitol will also host a dinner for the bishop-delegates of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. They will hold their conference outside Luzon for the first time since 1945.
The IEC will be start on January 24 and will end on January 31. A holy mass on January 29 will be held at the Capitol. In line with this, the governor is thinking to implement half-day work for its employees.
On January 29, the roads at the vicinity of the Capitol will already be closed starting 1 a.m. The Cebu City Transportation Office already posted the details of the road closures and rerouting on Facebook.
The public schools divisions of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-lapu already issued a memorandum of no classes on particular dates.
In Cebu City, there will be no classes on January 25-30. In Mandaue City, the classes are suspended on January 25-29 while Lapu-lapu City called of classes on January 27-29.
The Archdiocese of Cebu is asking for the understanding and patience of the Cebuanos who will be affected by the hosting of the event.
Fr. Joseph Larida of the IEC Security Committee, Archdiocese of Cebu said the IEC is a once of a lifetime event. The country’s last hosting of the event was in 1952 in Manila.
Police Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, head, IEC Security Task Group, said random checkpoints will be conducted in selected areas during the international event. He also appeased the public that there’s no international terrorism threat in Cebu and even in the entire country. He also said that the security personnel will be in full force. He said even the supervisory police officers will be out in the streets throughout the duration of the event.
The Archdiocese of Cebu is expecting at least 12,000 registered delegates in the IEC.
For some Cebuanos, who could not attend the Congress for various reasons, they were requested to express solidarity by lighting candles at home.