Iloilo City ramps up Holy Week traffic, health Vigilance

PSTMO head Jeck Conlu

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

With the Holy Week weekend approaching, the Iloilo City government is mobilizing traffic and health officials to prepare for increased public movement.

Jeck Conlu, chief of the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO), shared with Daily Guardian on Wednesday that teams from the Traffic Management Unit and the City Health Office will be implementing ‘Oplan Semana Santa’.

Officials anticipate a surge in travel, especially during weekend pilgrimages to the neighboring Guimaras province, where the live ‘Via Crucis’ at Balaan Bukid in Jordan is a significant draw.

Patrollers will oversee activity at all city terminals, with support from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), as well as officers from the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, and Bureau of Fire Protection, and the assistance of local barangay officials and volunteers.

Conlu indicated that on Good Friday morning, they expect a heavy travel volume from Parola Wharf to Guimaras, with the trend reversing in the afternoon as travelers return to Iloilo City.

“Normally, the city is a bit tranquil from Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday. The high-volume areas would be that of the Lapuz RORO Wharf. We have to expect heavy traffic going to Guimaras starting from Holy Wednesday afternoon to Black Saturday. The public should be wary of district hotlines […] so that they may know how to respond,” Conlu elaborated.

He also mentioned the half-day work suspension announced by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the class suspensions declared by Mayor Jerry Treñas on Holy Wednesday afternoon, which are expected to affect the flow of travel from other terminals.

Conlu highlighted a recent incident involving an elderly individual who experienced a slight fever at Tagbak Terminal, which he attributed to the current hot weather. He reminded the public to stay hydrated and encouraged carrying personal water bottles.

He further suggested that travelers depart early, prepare adequately, and avoid bulky baggage to ease their journeys over the long weekend.

In response to the expected increase in activity, the City DRRM Council has declared a blue alert status, ensuring that all essential disaster response personnel are on standby to address any emergencies that may arise.

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