The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) ”Task Force Phantom” – created to help ensure the security of Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines in 2015 – is serious about their task.
Members of the task force are currently undergoing rigorous training, in preparation for the Pontiff’s apostolic visit from January 15-19, 2015. The 30-person team is composed of 15 personnel from the MMDA, and 15 officers from the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group.
“The task force will complement the security and VIP escort to be provided by the police for the Pope,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said yesterday via his radio program on station dzBB.
Tolentino said that apart from its security duties, the task force will provide traffic and crowd control in venues to be visited by Pope Francis, as part of his itinerary.
To ready themselves, members of the team are taking refresher courses on security and traffic management.
The Pope’s 5-day itinerary is packed with various activities; including several official meetings, motorcades, prayer rallies and masses, as well as a trip to Tacloban to encourage survivors of supertyphoon Haiyan.