Iloilo City prepares for post-holiday influx

Prices of properties in Diversion Road in Mandurriao, Iloilo City are expected to rise if the city hall pushes in increasing taxes on land by next year. (Francis Allan Angelo photo)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

The Iloilo City government stands prepared for the return to routine as work and school resume today, April 1, following what was a “peaceful” Holy Week.

During the past weekend, residents primarily gathered at terminals and various Catholic parishes and chapels.

Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) Chief Jeck Conlu assured Daily Guardian that they are geared up for the ‘Monday rush’, noting that the current monitoring and standby measures are extensions of their Holy Week operations.

The Iloilo City Traffic Management Unit (ICTMU) and the City Health Office personnel have been actively on standby, poised to respond to any emergencies throughout Holy Week.

Conlu also mentioned the ongoing focus on infrastructure such as the Ungka Flyover, currently under rectification, and the Tabuc Suba bridges in the Jaro district, which have received special attention even during the holiday.

“Many of our residents exited the city for the Holy Week, so it is expected that from late [Sunday] afternoon until Tuesday, the return of people. We’ve run down to all the terminals, and of course, the ICTMU has deployed for [Monday] for all the expected vehicles returning to the city,” Conlu said via phone interview.

He noted the city’s tranquil Holy Week, with minor incidents mainly attributed to the recurring high heat index.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasted consistently rising heat indexes in the city during the last week.

This includes 38 degrees Celsius on Holy Monday (March 25), 39°C on Holy Tuesday (March 26), 42°C on Holy Wednesday (March 27), 43°C both on Maundy Thursday (March 28) and Black Saturday (March 30), 44°C on Good Friday (March 29).

The hot weather, he said, made people flock to the beaches, particularly in Arevalo district, on Saturday and Sunday.

“From [Holy] Monday to [Easter] Sunday, it was generally peaceful [in the city]. We weren’t able to receive any reports, except for some calls related to the weather according to our Operations Center and the [city office of the] Bureau of Fire [Protection],” he said.

As of this writing, the city’s Operations Center is still estimating the number of persons who have been coming from and going to the churches and terminals.

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