MMDA Ready for Black Nazarene Procession on January 9
Identifies Roads to be Closed by Procession
January 9 is still a few days away but as early as today, January 6, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is already gearing up for the annual procession of the Black Nazarene, which is expected to draw millions of participants and will take place on January 9 from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church.
According to MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, 350 personnel will be deployed as early as January 6 for the procession of Black Nazarene replicas on January 7 followed by the traditional ‘Pahalik’ or kissing of the image at the Quirino Grandstand starting January 8.
For the main event on January 9, 850 personnel will be positioned at the vicinity of the Grandstand, Quiapo Church, and along the route of ‘Andas’ for the safety of the millions of devotees expected to join the annual Traslacion on January 9.
The MMDA contingent will come from different units identified to help the local government unit of Manila in maintaining peace and order during the festivity.
The Western Traffic Enforcement Division shall be in-charge of managing traffic in the designated route of the procession and alternative route for motorists while the Road Safety Unit is tasked to install traffic cones and barriers at Luneta and processional route.
The Sidewalk Clearing Group will also provide crowd control personnel during the ‘Pahalik.’
The Metro Parkway Clearing Group is tasked to manage road clearing of any form of obstruction, particularly garbage, at the Luneta Parade Ground and roads along the 5.9-kilometer procession route.
“Street sweepers will immediately clear roads of all types of clutter,” said Lim.
Emergency and medical assistance shall be rendered by the Road Emergency Group and Public Safety Division while monitoring and communication will be handled by the Metrobase.
“Emergency teams will be deployed at the Grandstand and along the route of the procession to assist those who would be injured,” said Lim.
Ferry boats of the Pasig River Ferry Service will also be placed on standby at Jones Bridge in Manila City.
Traffic mobile patrols, ambulances, road emergency vehicles, mobile surveillance and communication units and other necessary equipment and vehicles will also be dispatched.
Lim also advised motorists and the commuting public to take note of the roads to be temporarily closed for the grand procession which will start at the Quirino Grandstand and end in Quiapo Church.
The route of the Grand Procession of the Black Nazarene will be from the Quirino Grandstand to Katigbak Drive thru P. Burgos, left Taft Ave. thru Jones Bridge, right to Dasmarinas St., right to Plaza Sta. Cruz St; left Carlos Palanca st. under Quezon Bridge, left Quezon Blvd., right Arlegui st., right Fraternal st., right Vergara st., left Duque de Alba st., left Castillejos st., left Farnecio st., right Arlegui st., left Nepomuceno st. (counterflow), left Aguila st., right Carcer st., right Hidalgo thru Plaza del Carmen, left Bilibid Viejo thru Puyat, left Guzman st., right Hidalgo st., left Baustista (Barbosa) st., right Globo de Oro thru under Quezon Bridge, right Palanca st., right Villalobos thru Plaza Miranda to Quiapo Church.
Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), also chaired by Lim, has also asked the local government units of Metro Manila to standby manpower and resources for the religious festivity.
The Manila City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is taking the lead on the first emergency response through coordination and collaboration with the MMDRRMC.
“We expect around 13 to 15 million participants to join the procession since weather is predicted to be good that day,” said MMDRRMC Vice Chairman Romulo Cabantac Jr..