THE authorities of the Sto. Niño churches in Tondo and Pandacan in Manila said they are ready to suspend masses should chaos arise and health protocols are compromised.
Fr. Estelito Villegas, of the Sto. Niño de Tondo and Fr. Gilbert Kabigting of the Sto. Niño de Pandacan, said they will follow orders from the Manila Police District (MPD) in a ‘worst case scenario’ or should the people try to hold a street party or procession on their own.
It was reportedly agreed that from 33, only 11 masses will be held at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Church where only 300 will be allowed to attend the Masses inside out of the 2,000 capacity.
At the Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish, nine masses ill be held from the usual 15 while 150 will be allowed inside out of the 700 capacity.
Contact tracing forms will also be given to each of the mass attendees while disinfection will be done after each Mass before a new batch of churchgoers are allowed inside. Minors and senior citizens will not be allowed.
The Masses will also be featured via online streaming and a LED monitor will also be installed outside the church for those who did not make it inside.
Mayor Isko Moreno earlier signed an order banning all kinds of activities in the street to ensure that the efforts taken during the past ten months to stem COVID transmission will not go to waste. A liquor ban and curfew will also be in effect.
Meantime, some streets will be closed in Manila tomorrow (Sunday) in connection with the Feast of the Sto. Nino in Tondo and Pandacan on January 17
The Manila Police District Traffic Enforcement Unit (MPD-TEU), in an advisory, said that the road closures and re-routing of vehicles will begin at 3 a.m. re-routing scheme.
The following will be closed to taffic: J. Nolasco from Moriones to N. Zamora Streets; N. Zamora from Moriones to Chacon Streets; Chacon from N. Zamora to Juan Luna Streets; Morga from Asuncion to Juan Luna Streets and Sta. Maria from Moriones to Morga Streets. Based on the re-routing scheme, vehicles from Moriones will take J. Nolasco Street and go straight to Juan Luna or Dagupan Street to point of destination.
Those from Pritil will take N. Zamora St., turn left Moriones St. to Juan Luna St. to point of destination while vehicles from Asuncion will turn left to Tuazon Street to point of desination.
In Pandacan, the following will be closed: Jesus Street from Quirino Ave. to Palumbong St.; Palumpong St. from Jesus St. to Beata St.; T. San Luis St. from Jesus St. to Central St.; Labores St. from Central St. to Jesus St.; Industria St. from Jesus St. to Central St. and Narciso St. from Jesus St. to Central St. Under the re-routing plan, vehicles on Jesus St. from Mabini Bridge (Nagtahan Bridge) will take Quirino Ave. to point of destination. Those using Jesus St. from Narciso, Industria and Labores Sts. will turn left Central St., left T. San Luis St. to point of destination while those using Zamora Bridge from Valenzuela St. (Sta. Mesa area going to Pandacan) will turn right to Beata St.,left Laura St., right to Flerida St., left Menandro St., straight to Carreon to point of destination. Those from Carreon St. must turn right to Linceo St., left Laura St., right to Beata St. and then to point of destination.
The reopening of the closed roads will depend on the actual traffic situation.