The Manila Police District (MPD) announced on Friday that it will implement road closures and re-routing of vehicles starting Sunday in preparation for the procession of the Black Nazarene on Tuesday, January 9.
The traslacion, or the transferring of the Black Nazarene’s replica from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church, is a yearly tradition for its devotees. Its organizers changed some routes to ensure safety, with the procession going to the westbound lane to Jones Bridge instead of passing through the east-bound lane of Lagusnilad and P. Burgos.
Police Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said the following roads will be closed from 11 a.m. on Sunday onwards: the southbound lane of Quezon Boulevard (Quiapo), from A. Mendoza/Fugoso to Plaza Miranda; the eastbound lane of CM Recto Avenue, from Rizal Avenue to SH Loyola Steet; the westbound lane of España Boulevard from P. Campa to Lerma Street.
He said that from Plaza Miranda, motorists should turn left to Quezon Boulevard, then left to G. Puyat, right to Evangelista Street, right to Recto Avenue, right to Loyola Street, right to Bilibid Viejo through Puyat, then turn left to Guzman Street, right to Hidalgo Street, left to Barbosa Street, turn right to Globo de Oro, right again to Palanca Street, right to Villalobos Street, then Plaza Miranda (2.29 kilometers).
All vehicles coming from España Boulevard intending to proceed to Roxas Boulevard /South Pier Zone/Taft Avenue should turn right to P. Campa, straight to Fugoso Street to their point of destination.
Vehicles intending to pass Quezon Boulevard coming from A. Mendoza Street should turn right to Fugoso, left to Rizal Avenue to their point of destination.
All vehicles utilizing the eastbound lane of C.M. Recto coming from Divisoria should turn right to Rizal Avenue to their point of destination.
And all vehicles utilizing S.H. Loyola Street coming from the Balic-Balic area going to Quiapo shall turn right on C.M. Recto Avenue to their point of destination.
Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Oscar Albayalde said that all government agencies and security units are a hundred percent ready for this year’s traslacion.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada announced the suspension of classes and work in public and private offices on January 9.
In a press briefing in Camp Crame on Friday, Albayade said that the NCRPO will be on full alert status on Sunday, two days before the annual religious procession on Tuesday. There is a skeletal deployment already in place in Luneta and Quiapo, he added.
Albayade said the NCRPO increased its security personnel this year with 5,613 uniformed Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel, two companies from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), one company from the special action force, and some plainclothes units will be deployed to monitor the religious procession.
Last year, around 5,000 security units were deployed in the areas along the route where the Black Nazarene replica will pass.
Snipers, K9 units, and drones from the PNP will also be deployed in all routes and checkpoints in other parts of Metro Manila will be strengthened during the traslacion as part of the intensified security measures.
Twenty-three medical stations, 65 ambulances, and 15 rescue boats have been prepared for traslacion. Albayalde reminded devotees who have health problems to seek assistance from the medical teams deployed in the area.
The gun ban will be implemented from Monday, January 8 to Wednesday while the liquor ban will take effect on Monday night. Metro Manila will also be a no-fly zone for aircraft and drones without permits.
While the executive committee of the Black Nazarene procession has yet to decide about signal jamming during the event, Albayalde said he is positive that it will be imposed the night before the Traslacion.