MANILA Mayor Isko Moreno appealed to devotees not to insist on holding any form of procession on Saturday, January 9, on the day of the Feast of the Black Nazarene itself, reiterating that it is prohibited in the wake of the pandemic.
Moreno also called on the devotees to attend the scheduled Masses at home since they will be also held live via online, instead of exposing themselves to crowds and the possibility of getting COVID-19.
The mayor stressed that the holding of the annual ‘Traslacion’ or procession had been cancelled specifically in compliance with national government regulations against mass gatherings and to avoid possible community transmission of the coronavirus.
Moreno also said that certain roads will have to be closed to ensure that they will not be used by devotees for the purpose which had been disallowed which is to gather en masse.
In connection with this, the Manila Police District Traffic Enforcement Unit issued a traffic advisory regarding roads that will be closed beginning Friday, January 8, up to January 9.
The advisory said that from 8 p.m. onward on January 8, 2021, the following roads will be closed to traffic: southbound lane of Quezon Blvd. (Quiapo), from A. Mendoza/Fugoso to Carlos Palanca St.; northbound Lane of Quezon Blvd from Carlos Palanca St. to Fugoso St.;westbound lane of España Boulevard from P. Campa to A Mendoza St.;stretch of Evangelista St. from P Paterno St. to Recto Ave. and stretch of Palanca St. from Carriedo/Plaza Lacson to P Casal St.
Vehicles will also be re-routed thus: Vehicles going to southbound lane of Quezon Blvd from A. Mendoza: turn right to Fugoso St. then left to Rizal Avenue.; Vehicles going to southbound lane of España Blvd: turn left to Nicanor Reyes St., or turn right to P. Campa St., then left to A. Mendoza St., then right to Fugoso St.; Vehicles coming from McArthur Bridge intending to utilize Palanca St shall go straight to Rizal Ave. to point of destination; Vehicles coming from Ayala Bridge intending to utilize Palanca St. shall go straight to P. Casal St. to point of destination and Vehicles coming from P. Burgos Ave. intending to utilize Quezon Bridge shall go straight to McArthur Bridge or Jones Bridge to point of destination.
From 12 midnight of January 9, 2021, the stretch of Ronquillo St. from Rizal Ave. to Plaza Sta. Cruz and the stretch of Bustos St. from Plaza Sta Cruz to Rizal Avenue will be closed.
Vehicles utilizing southbound lane of Rizal Ave. going to Ronquillo St. shall turn right to CM. Recto Ave., turn left to R. Regente St., to J. Luna St. turn left to Plaza Cervantes to Jones Bridge or go straight to Muelle dela Industria to Escolta to point of destination while vehicles coming from McArthur Bridge intending to utilize Bustos St. shall go straight to Rizal Ave. to point of destination.
Authorities from Quiapo Church are also encouraging the devotees to hear the masses online.