The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) advised the public that several roads will be closed to traffic on Saturday morning on the routes of the papal convoy as Pope Francis and his delegation leave Manila for Leyte province.
Pope Francis is set to visit Tacloban City on Saturday, will have lunch with survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo town, bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor in the afternoon, and meet with priests and survivors at the Cathedral of Palo.
MMDA said the principal route of 22.30 kilometers is from the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila to the Villamor Air Base Gate 5 in Pasay City that will be closed to motorists starting at 4:30 a.m.
The roads that are to be closed include: Taft Avenue, Quirino Avenue, Osmeña Highway, portion of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Magallanes, Sales Bridge to Villamor Air Base Gate.
Other roads to be closed are: Roxas Boulevard, NAIA Road, Domestic Road and Andrews Avenue.
In Leyte province, the principal route from Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban city to the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo, Leyte will also be closed to motorists.
Among the roads to be closed are: Picas San Jose DZR Airport Road; Tacloban Baybay South Bay and Palo Carigara Ormoc City Road.
Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate mass in an open space near the Tacloban airport upon his arrival on Saturday.
MMDA has already deployed Task Force Phantom in Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte.
Earlier, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the Task Force Phantom is composed of 200 motorcycle traffic enforcers and select personnel.
Tolentino said the task force will assist in the traffic management operations, provide motorcycle escort security and relevant crowd control operations.
On Saturday afternoon, Pope Francis will also fly back to Manila.
During Pope Francis’ return to Manila, the MMDA will also close some roads from Villamor Airbase to Apostolic Nunciature in Taft Avenue starting at 3:00 p.m.
The roads to be closed include: Villamor Airbase Gate 5; Andrews Avenue; Domestic Road; NAIA Road; Roxas Boulevard Sales Bridge to Skyway; Osmeña Highway; Quirino Avenue and portion of Taft Avenue. PNA