THE National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are all set for police, traffic and emergency assistance during the annual procession of the Black Nazarene which is expected to draw millions of participants.
NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar said the preparations are almost done even as he said that they have not received any threats to the orderly holding of the mammoth procession. He said the police will be on full alert the entire event.
Bringing of cellphones is also being discouraged. Eleazar said network signals from telecom providers will be suspended during the event covering all the routes of the procession from Quirino Grandstand back to the Quiapo Church.
MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said 350 personnel will be deployed starting tomorrow for the procession of Black Nazarene replicas on January 7 and traditional “Pahalik” or kissing of the image at the Quirino Grandstand on January 8.
On the main event, 850 personnel will be positioned at the vicinity of the Grandstand, Quiapo Church, and along the route of “Andas” for the safety of the millions of devotees expected to join the annual Traslacion on January 9.
The MMDA contingent will come from different units identified to help the local government unit of Manila in maintaining peace and order during the festivity:
The Western Traffic Enforcement Division shall be in-charge of managing traffic in the designated route of the procession and alternative route for motorists while the Road Safety Unit is tasked to install traffic cones and barriers at Luneta and processional route.
The Sidewalk Clearing Group will also provide crowd control personnel during the “Pahalik.”
The Metro Parkway Clearing Group is tasked to manage road clearing of any form of obstruction particularly garbage at the Luneta Parade Ground and roads along the 5.9 kilometer procession route.
“Street sweepers will immediately clear roads of all types of clutter,” said Lim.
Emergency and medical assistance shall be rendered by the Road Emergency Group and Public Safety Division while monitoring and communication will be handled by the Metrobase.
Ferry boats of the Pasig River Ferry Service will also be placed on standby at Jones Bridge in Manila City.
Lim also advised motorists and the commuting public to take note of the roads to be temporarily closed for the grand procession which will start at the Quirino Grandstand and end in Quiapo Church.
Meanwhile, Father Douglas Badong, Parochial Vicar of Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, yesterday appealed to politicians not to use the ‘Traslacion’ to promote themselves.
He said all greeting tarpaulins of politicians and political bets will be removed along the path of the procession, noting that those are already constitute campaigning.
Organizers of the Traslacion called on politicians to respect the ccasion.
All classes in public and private schools in Manila and operations of Manila City Hall will be suspended on January 9.
The route of the Grand Procession of the Black Nazarene will be from the Quirino Grandstand to Katigbak Drive thru P. Burgos, left to Taft Ave. thru Jones Bridge, right to Dasmarinas St., right to Plaza Sta. Cruz St; left Carlos Palanca st. under Quezon Bridge, left Quezon Blvd., right to Arlegui St., right to Fraternal St., right to Vergara st., left to Duque de Alba St., left to Castillejos St., left to Farnecio St., right Arlegui St., left to Nepomuceno St. (counterflow), left to Aguila St., right to Carcer St., right to Hidalgo thru Plaza del Carmen, left to Bilibid Viejo thru Puyat, left to Guzman St., right to Hidalgo St., left to Baustista (Barbosa) St., right to Globo de Oro straight to under Quezon Bridge, right to Palanca St., right to Villalobos thru Plaza Miranda back to Quiapo Church.
Manila Police District director Senior Supt. Vicente Danao, Jr. also discouraged the public from bringing bags and canisters and if such cannot be avoided, the items should be place in transparent bags only.
With Itchie Cabayan