All systems are in place for the annual observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) implemented yesterday a restriction against flying unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV) or drones in areas where the procession will pass. The “no fly zone” (10 nautical-mile radius away from these restricted areas) was implemented to ensure the safety of Nazarene devotees and other people along the streets.
Philippine National Police (PNP), Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa also suspended for two days the permit to carry firearms outside residences (PTCFOR) in Manila. The PCTFOR suspension will start on 8 am Sunday, January 8 and will be in effect up to 8 a.m. Tuesday of January 10.
“Members of the military, police and other law enforcement agencies are exempted from the PCTFOR suspension and are authorized to bear arms provided that they are on duty and in uniform,” Dela Rosa said.
The re-routing of vehicles in preparation for the Traslacion or procession of the Black Nazarene on Monday will start today, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced yesterday.
Department of PublicWorks and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said yesterday that all roads along the route of the Black Nazarene procession are now paved and clear. He added that all corrective and maintenance works, particularly the filling up of potholes, have all been done to ensure the safety of the millions of Black Nazarene devotees.
The 5.96-kilometer route of the grand procession will be from Quirino Grandstand going to Katigbak Drive through P.Burgos, left Taft Avenue through Ones Bridges, right Dasmarinas Street, right Palanca Street through under Quezon Bridge, left Quezon Boulevard., right Arlegui Street, right Fraternal St., right Vergara Street, Duque de Alba, left Castillejos Street, left Farnercio Street,right Arlegui, left Nepomuceno, left Aguila, Right Carcer, right Hidalgo through Plaza del Carmen, left Bilibid Viejo through Puyat Street, left Guzman, right Hidalgo, left Barbosa, right Globo de Oro through under Quezon Bridge, right Palanca, right Villalobos through Plaza Miranda going to Quiapo Church.
The annual Black Nazarene procession commemorates the first parade transferring the revered statue of Jesus Christ from a church in Intramuros to the Quiapo Church on January 9, 1767.
The MPD-Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) on Friday announced the road closures and rerouting it will implement on Monday in connection with the annual procession of the Black Nazarene.
“Closure of some streets will be in effect as the procession approaches and will be opened immediately once the tail end passes,” newly promoted Chief Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel, director of the Manila Police District, said as he advised the public to expect “very heavy” traffic.
Vehicles coming from Quezon City using the stretch of España Avenue shall turn right to P. Campa Street, then turn left to A. Mendoza Street, then turn right to Fugoso Street., turn right to CM Recto Avenue or left to Nicanor
Reyes Street, then turn right to CM Recto Avenue to point of destination.
All vehicles which will be using the S.H. Loyola Street, routing from Balic-Balic area going to Quiapo, shall turn right to C.M. Recto to their point of destination.
Vehicles coming from Reina Regente Street utilizing the southbound lane shall turn right to San Fernando Street or make a U-turn at Plaza Ruiz to point of destination.
Cars coming from Caloocan City utilizing Rizal Avenue shall turn right to Fugoso Street or CM Recto Avenue to point of destination.
Heavy vehicles or cargo trucks shall take President Osmeña to President Quirino Avenue to Nagtahan via A.H. Lacson Avenue to Capulong Street, vise versa.
All buses using Taft Avenue northbound shall turn right to Ayala Avenue to point of destination.
Procession of Nazarene replicas
Meanwhile, the procession of Black Nazarene replicas will start from Plaza Miranda, turning left to Quezon Boulevard, left to Gil Puyat.
The procession will then turn right to Loyola Street, right to Bilibid Viejo through Puyat, left to Guzman Street, right to Hidalgo Street.
It will then turn left to Barbosa Street, right to Globo De Oro, right to Palaca Street, then right to Villalobos Street through Plaza Miranda.
Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada yesterday ordered the clearing of all roads where the Black Nazarene procession will pass. “We want everyone to be safe. We want the procession to be as hassle-free as possible for the devotees participating in it, and also to lessen the inconvenience of motorists and commuters,” he said.
City Engineer Rogelio Legazpi said the clearing operation is being carried out by more than 600 men until Sunday and is mainly focused around the immediate vicinity of Quiapo Church such as the streets of Villalobos, Carlos Palanca, and Hidalgo, which are expected to be filled with Black Nazarene devotees. Included in these operations are vendors, illegal transport terminals and illegally parked vehicles.
The mayor added they are also checking for uncovered manholes and drainages and hanging power cables that can pose risks to devotees and conducting on-the-spot repairs of unpaved roads.
Street sweepers will also be deployed along the procession route and at the Quirino Grandstand to continuously sweep the streets and remove anything that could hurt the barefoot devotees.
Sustained “anti-criminality” operations on the days leading to Traslacion are also being carried out by the city police force along the procession routes and its immediate vicinities such as Ermita, Malate, Intramuros, Binondo, and Santa Cruz.
REICELENE JOY IGNACIO, WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL, JAIME PILPIL, ANTHONY VARGAS and BENJIE VERGARA