MMDA personnel to be deployed for Black Nazarene feast-A A +A
Monday, January 7, 2013
THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will deploy 1,100 personnel to ensure a peaceful and orderly Black Nazarene procession on Wednesday, according to an MMDA official.
The MMDA personnel will be deployed around Quiapo Church and along the procession routes to help in traffic management, public safety, and emergency response operations of the City Government and other agencies.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency will also be deploying ambulances and other road emergency vehicles, traffic mobile patrol cars, tugboats, Agila surveillance and communications units, and all other necessary equipment and vehicles.
“We will not risk the safety of the public, not only the Black Nazarene devotees, but also the motorists and pedestrians. We will deploy everything we got to help in any way we can,” Tolentino said.
He also advised motorists to avoid Manila as much as possible since several roads will have to be temporarily closed to traffic.
“We’re also asking the devotees not to bring their children to the procession. Those who cannot avoid going to Manila should at least plan their trips and check the procession routes and alternate routes that we have uploaded in our website," Tolentino added.
Starting Tuesday, Katigbak Drive and South Drive will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m., while the southbound lane of Quezon Blvd. in Quiapo, from Andalucia-Fugoso to Plaza Miranda, and España-P.Campa-Lerma will be closed to public utility vehicles from 4 a.m. in January 9.
However, from 5 a.m. on Wednesday, total closure for all types of vehicles will implemented, according to Tolentino.
In the north area, the roads to be closed to traffic will be P. Campa/España; Nicanor Reyes/España; Andalucia/Fugoso; Recto/Isetann (Service Road) and Raon/Evangelista.
In the south area, the roads to be closed to traffic will be Ma. Orosa/P. Burgos; Lagusnilad/P. Burgos; Taft/Finance/Westbound; A. Villegas/Taft Ave. (LRT); 25th Street/Bonifacio Drive; N.A. Lopez/A. Villegas; Anda Circle/Bonifacio Drive; Gen. Luna/P. Burgos; Roxas Blvd. T.M. Kalaw; and Katigbak/Roxas Blvd.
This year’s procession of the Black Nazarene commemorates the 406th feast of the “traslacion” or the transfer of the Black Nazarene image from the Recollect Church in Intramuros, Manila to the Quiapo Church in 1787.
Last year’s feast recorded the “longest procession” which took more than 22 hours. The police also claimed a possible terrorist attack, prompting them to jam mobile phone communications in the area.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said, earlier over state-run radio, that they are evaluating if mobile phone signals would have to be disrupted again during the procession.
Law enforcers have started preparations for the annual feast with more than 3,000 uniformed men from the National Capital Region (NCR) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be deployed along Quiapo Church and Rizal Park to ensure public safety and order during the annual feast. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)