MANILA — Malacanang on Thursday assured the public the government is taking all necessary security measures, including instituting a no-bag policy, asserting its readiness for the visit of Pope Francis next week.
“Handa tayo, adequate ‘yung mga preparasyon, ngunit gagamitin natin ‘yung mga nalalabing araw para pahusayin pa, para matiyak na lahat ng mga dapat pagtuunan ng pansin ay nabigyan ng sapat na atensyon (We are prepared, the arrangements are adequate but we will use the remaining days to further improve it to make sure that we pay attention to important details),” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a Palace press briefing.
Coloma said government agencies have established security procedures to ensure the safe and orderly conduct of the Papal visit.
He said attendees for Pope Francis’ mass at the Luneta in Manila are prohibited to bring bags or backpacks and umbrellas.
Coloma advised the public to bring food and drinks and other valuable belongings such as medicine, fan, hat or raincoats contained in clear or transparent bags.
He said unauthorized individuals are prohibited in designated secured areas.
“May deployment ng mga marshals at may deployment ng mga health areas, ‘yung mga emergency, first aid. Mayroon ding mga ushers para sa komunyon. Maraming mga tao na gagabay sa pagkilos ng mga dadalo sa misa (Marshals will be deployed as well as health areas to provide first aid for emergency situations. We also have ushers for the communion. Lots of people will assist those who will attend the mass),” he added.
Further, the PCOO chief said the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will announce next week the detailed rerouting plan for affected areas, drop-off points and designated parking areas.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) already announced several flight cancellations due to the Papal visit.
“Hinihimok ang lahat na maging mahinahon at sumunod sa gabay at mga patakarang paiiralin upang mapangalagaan ang seguridad ng Santo Papa at mga mananampalatayang nais siyang makita (We encourage everyone to stay calm and follow the guidelines to ensure the safety of the Pope and the faithful who wants to see him),” Coloma said.