MANILA — Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto on Sunday called on both residents and visitors of Pasay to practice restraint and discipline during Pope Francis’ historic five-day visit to the Philippines.
Calixto made the special announcement in the aftermath of the Feast of the Black Nazarene estimated to be attended by 5.5 million by the Philippine National Red Cross and resulted to two casualties and more than 1,500 persons having sought medical help.
The two casualties were reported to be due to injuries during a stampede before the start of the procession and a heart attack.
High blood pressure, injuries, lacerations, nausea, difficulty in breathing, seizure and sprains were some of the cases attended to by emergency medical personnel posted during the Black Nazarene procession.
“We expect people wanting to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis to be more than the number of devotees during the Feast of the Black Nazarene last January 9. Pasay is the first and last stop of Pope Francis here in the Philippines” Mayor Calixto said.
“We anticipate not just Catholics from Pasay and Metro Manila but also from all parts of the Philippines and even from other countries to see Pope Francis. All hotels and inns within Pasay are practically fully booked,” Calixto added
The local chief executive is reminding the motoring public to be cooperative and obey the traffic rerouting scheme and road closures set in place for the Papal visit.
Constant and regular advisories are being issued by the City’s Public Information Office through the traditional as well as the social media.
Calixto also reminded the public to throw their thrash in the designated garbage bins strategically located along and near the Papal routes.
Pasay City is home to Villamor Airbase where the Papal entourage is expected to land on January 15, be sent off to Tacloban on January 17 and back to the Vatican on the 19th of January.
The Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay is also the venue for Pope Francis’ Meeting With the Families on January 16.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, spokesperson of the PNP appealed to the public or devotees of Pope to follow the security measures provided by the government agencies.
“Ang pagsunod sa regulasyon ay isa sa pinakamagandang halimbawa na ikaw bilang isang deboto na maipapakita mo na ikaw ay talagang sumusunod at ikaw ay isang devotee,” Mayor said in an radio interview.
Asked if the police will also wear diaper during their extended duty on Papal visit, Mayor replied “hindi namin naconsider o napag uusapan… Labanan call of duty and nature… dahil ang mga pulis naman ay natrain naman sa mga ganitong situation.”
Mayor also declined to confirm if cellphone signal jammers will be deployed, citing that the police do not give out specific details of the security plan so as not to compromise it.
However, the PNP official said that they are a hundred percent ready with the mobilization of police officers already underway.
The country’s 150,000 police force has also suspended the leaves of all it personnel to make ready for the event.
Previously, Mayor said that some 25,000 people will be deployed for security and crowd control.