Security beefed up for next week’s Black Nazarene feast

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

AUTHORITIES plan to beef up security measures for next week's Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, as the annual religious festivity is expected to draw 12 million devotees from all walks of life.

Chief Inspector Erwin Margarejo, chief of the district community relations of the Manila Police District (MPD), said that officials of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene’s (Quiapo Church) Fiesta Committee already met with the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC) led by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to discuss plans on how to manage security, emergency traffic and crowd control during the "Translacion," the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park back to the Quiapo Church.

Margarejo said the MPD is also coordinating with other force multipliers such as from barangay volunteers and other non-government organizations led by Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

Last year, at least nine million devotees have joined the procession that lasted for almost 24 hours, traversing the three-kilometer route from Luneta up to the gate of the Basilica, which is in front Plaza Miranda.

Margarejo said that it will still depend on the devotees on how long the Black Nazarene procession is likely to take.

"Some devotees especially those were legitimate residents Quiapo did want the image to actually pass in front of their houses, so yung ibang kalye na supposedly hinde kasama sa route, napapasama dahil yung mga bumabatak ng karosa ng Nazareno talagang pilit idinadaan sa mga kalye na nandun ang kanilang mga kabahayan," Margarejo said. (Sunnex)

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