MANILA – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is set to declare a four-day holiday in the city on the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.
The holiday will last from Jan. 15 to 19 next year.
He explained that the holiday is to ensure the security of the Pope as he visits the Manila Cathedral, the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and the residence of the Papal Nuncio in Manila.
“We are ready to secure Pope Francis. The security preparations for him are coordinated efforts between the local and national level. We have been closely coordinating with both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the military,” Estrada told The STAR.
“We also have to secure the devotees who will sleep or stay in vigil during the pope’s visit,” he added.
Erap is also planning to ask the Pope to pray for the city government in order to “save” it from bankruptcy.
“I will ask him to save us from bankruptcy. I will ask for blessings from him to bring back the old glory of the city. We have the Domingo de Ramos (for former president Fidel V. Ramos), Sabado de Gloria (for former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) and ‘Happy Esterada’ (referring to Easter for himself). I must have my own, not only for FVR and Gloria,” Estrada added in jest.