Palace: Don’t bring kids, valuables to Black Nazarene feast-A A +A
Sunday, January 6, 2013
MALACANANG reiterated Sunday its appeal to the public not to bring children and valuables to Wednesday’s annual procession of the Black Nazarene.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said more devotees are expected to join the procession of Jesus Christ’s dark statue this year.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier said around six to eight million people will join the feast.
“It is expected that the crowd will be bigger than last year’s. Let us not bring children to avoid them from being hurt and lost. Also, for your personal safety, let’s not bring valuables such as cell phones and jewelries,” Valte said.
The Palace official also asked those who are not feeling well to skip the procession to avoid any untoward incident.
Valte assured that the Philippine National Police is ready to provide safety and assistance to the devotees who will be flocking to Quiapo, Manila and Luneta.
“Our officials from the PNP led by our NCRPO Chief (Leonardo) Espina has been in close coordination with the local government unit as well as the Church officials in Quiapo to make sure that this year’s procession and celebration will be solemn and safe,” she said.
She likewise asked the public to check out the traffic rerouting schemes that have been issued by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The Palace also appealed to devotees to maintain cleanliness of the areas where the procession will pass through so as not to further burden the MMDA in cleaning the trash left during and after the festivity.
Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition reminded the public to “express our reverence and devotion for the Black Nazarene sans shameless littering.”
“As followers of the Black Nazarene, we expect the devotees to fulfill their sacred vows in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Tin Vergara, zero waste campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.
She said littering affects the quality of the environment and can even threaten the health and safety of the devotees, citing the improperly discarded bamboo skewers that were blamed for foot injuries among devotees last year.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said he will order the cancellation of classes in public elementary and high schools that are near the routes of the procession.
Last year’s procession was considered the “longest” as it took more than 22 hours to finish. (Jill Beltran/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)