By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
The preparation and contingency measures of the city government of Iloilo are all set for the upcoming All Saints Day and All Souls Day following the directive of Mayor Jerry P. Treñas to frontline agencies.
“I am coordinating with the Philippine National Police, Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO), City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), City Health Office (CHO), Local Economic Enterprise Office, and City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), and other offices for the preparations for the Undas,” Treñas said in a statement on Friday.
CENRO head Engr. Neil Ravena in an interview on Wednesday said he already issued office orders directing some of its personnel to report on November 1 and 2 despite it being declared as non-working holidays.
Ravena noted that they are monitoring city cemeteries, especially the city-owned and big cemeteries such as the Quintin Salas, Jereos, Tanza, Forest Lake in Mandurriao, and the Catholic Cemetery in Jaro.
Over 350 street sweepers of the city government will also be deployed to specific areas to ensure the cleanliness of roads leading to city-owned and other big cemeteries.
“We assigned garbage collection monitors by districts. This is to ensure that we can collect the waste materials at the scheduled time. At the same time we provided waste bins and disposable garbage bags,” he added.
The CENRO will mobilize six city-owned dump trucks for the collection of segregated organic and non-organic wastes during the holidays.
“We expect a 15 to 20 percent increase in our total volume of wastes that will be accepted in our sanitary landfill. More or less 30 to 40 tons in one day,” Ravena added
The CENRO has already put in place portalets or portable toilets in the cemeteries in anticipation of the crowds expected to flock to both cemeteries on November 1 and 2. Ravena said the maintenance of the portalets has been referred to the barangays.
Treñas has recently issued an executive order identifying specific locations for flower vending.
These areas include the half lane of Iznart Extension in City Proper, parts of the road around Jaro Plaza, and areas near the plazas of Arevalo, Molo, Mandurriao, and La Paz.
As of October 26, 192 flower vendors in the city have obtained permits to sell flowers and candles.
PSTMO head Jeck Conlu said vendors will be allowed to set up their stalls from the evening of October 28 and sell them starting from October 29 until midnight on November 1.
The PSTMO held an orientation to the vendors on October 20. Among the things emphasized in the orientation is that the areas must remain free from smoking, liquor, waste, and bladed weapons.
Conlu said traffic aides will also be deployed near the cemetery areas to ensure smooth traffic flow.
He further reminded the public not to bring bladed or and other deadly weapons, as stricter penalties will be enforced, especially with the ongoing election gun ban across the country.