By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Seventeen routes of public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be affected after the venue for the kick-off of this year’s MassKara Street Dance Competition on October 22 was changed.
On Monday’s press briefing, Police Major Junji Liba, head of the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO), said that 10 modernized and seven traditional jeepney routes will be affected by the rerouting.
Jericho Redil, co-director of MassKara Festival 2023 and treasurer of the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation, who joined Liba in the press conference, said that this year’s street dance will start from SM City Bacolod towards Rizal Street, and will make two turns in Police Station 1 and along Gonzaga Street towards Araneta Street until the Paglaum Sports Complex, where the arena competition will be held.
Redil explained that the changes in the route were to also acknowledge SM as one of the major sponsors in the festivity.
“One of the reasons is that SM is also a part of the major sponsors of the festival. So they are requesting to have (at least) an area na maging part man sila sang MassKara and they’re willing man to help,” Redil said.
Redil noted that SM signified to help the foundation with the additional expenses that could be incurred because of the change of venue or route for the street dance.
Last year, the street dance competition started along Rizal-Locsin Streets to the Paglaum Sports Complex and affected only four routes.
Redil said that they have already talked with them about the possibilities in traffic, and SM told them that they are also willing to help manage the situation in their area.
“It’s part of their request sa sponsorship. Sa traffic, may gin obra naman kami na scenarios para indi ma apektuhan ang traffic,” he added.
For his part, Liba said that he has already formulated some strategies to manage the traffic flow.
“It’s only that medyo na late lang send sa akon ang bag-o, pero anyway na fix ko man,” he added.
Liba said that road closure will also be implemented along Lacson Street, particularly from the South Capitol Road to B.S Aquino Drive from October 16 to 22.
This aims to give ample time for the setting up of stages and other equipment needed for the events along Lacson Tourism Strip which will kick off on October 19.
As of this writing, the traffic plan for the festival has yet to be released, pending the adjustments and changes in the calendar of activities. But the foundation and the BTAO have assured that it will be released soon.
Liba said they are just waiting for the approval of the traffic plan for the said festivity from the City Council.
Ten barangays will be joining the street dance and arena competition this year, compared to last year’s 17 participants.
Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, earlier said that the limited participation of only 10 barangays enables them to showcase more artistic and quality performances.