A makeover of Rizal Park (Luneta) in Manila is in full swing as the government prepares for the visit of Pope Francis in January next year.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday said renovation work at the park where the Pope will say Mass is about 30 percent to 40 percent finished. DPWH-National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) Director Reynaldo Tagundando said rehabilitation work is being done 24/7.
The government allotted P20 million to prettify the 40-hectare park.
Tagundando said aside from the physical renovation of the park, part of the budget will be used for repair of liturgical requirements and wiring and cable systems; and installation of portable toilets and platforms, among other purposes.
He added that the altar where the pontiff will say the Mass at the Luneta Grandstand on January 18, 2015 was designed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Earlier reports quoted government and church authorities as saying the expected crowd attendance in the event could top six million, thus raising security and mobility concerns.
Tagundando said the crowd could spill to Anda Circle and Taft Avenue.
He, however, gave assurances that those far from the grandstand would still see and hear the pope because LED screens will be installed in and around the park.