Mayor Joseph Estrada has declared January 9 a holiday in Manila.
On this day, millions of devotees will participate in the traslacion, the annual procession of the Black Nazarene.
Estrada ordered the Manila Police District to double its security preparations for the religious activity, especially after the Armed Forces of the Philippines warned that the Maute terror group could send its members to Metro Manila to launch diversionary attacks.
The mayor assured devotees that security measures are in place to prevent any unwanted incident on Monday.
Following a meeting with MPD director Joel Coronel, Estrada said that they have finalized and established an incident command system (ICS) to deal with the huge crowd during the procession.
“We have made all the proper preparations and final coordination with different agencies involved in Traslacion. We can say we are ready to deal with emergencies,” the mayor said.
Coronel said around 15 million devotees will participate in the six-day Celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene, including an estimated two million who will be joining the procession.
“We have established our incident command system and our contingency preparation, we are improving in time, getting better every year,” he said, adding that coordination meetings for the Black Nazarene feast started in July last year.
“Our coordination is better than ever with different agencies, with the rescue management office, the Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highway, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Philippine National Police and private organizations like Red Cross,” he added.
Each member of the ICS was assigned specific tasks such as command and control, public safety, crowd control, emergency health response, and planning and logistics, among others.