MANILA – In preparation for the coming visit of Pope Francis in the country, the government is set to build a “popemobile,” according to organizers on Thursday.
“He is our visitor and we can’t let anything bad happen to him,” the government’s chief protocol officer Marciano Paynor said.
Paynor, however clarified that while they are carefully preparing for the Pope’s safety in his visit next year, there were no reported specific threats against the Pope.
The Pope earlier said that rather than using the Vatican’s bulletproof “popemobile,” he prefers using open-top cars.
Pope Francis also described “popemobiles,” used by previous pontiffs as a “sardine can.”
“It is true something could happen to me but let’s be realistic, at my age I do not have much to lose,” he said in June, adding that the popemobile made it hard to connect with the faithful.
“The Pope requested that it be kept simple. He wants nothing flamboyant,” said Father Antonio Pascual from the organizing committee.
Presidential Communications undersecretary Jess Yu, meanwhile, said that the “popemobile” will be designed in collaboration with the Vatican security.
“Definitely, the Pope will be visible to the public [from the vehicle],” Yu said.