The Philippine Red Cross will deploy 1,000 personnel and volunteers for the safe observance of Traslacion 2019, or the procession during the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila, the group’s chairman Richard Gordon said Sunday.
He said 600 emergency responders will be at different first-aid stations where the procession will pass.
The other 400 will be on standby in outlying areas, Gordon told Super Radyo dzBB.
The Metro Manila Development Authority had announced it would be deploying starting Sunday at least 1,200 personnel in preparation for the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo on Jan. 9.
MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said the men will provide traffic and emergency assistance during the annual procession that is expected to draw 13 to 15 million devotees.
Of the 1,200 men, 350 will be deployed for the procession of Black Nazarene replicas on Monday and the traditional “Pahalik” or kissing of the image at the Quirino Grandstand on Tuesday.
“On the main event, 850 personnel will be positioned at the vicinity of the Grandstand, Quiapo Church, and along the route of “Andas” for the safety of the millions of devotees,” Lim said.
Gordon said 18 ambulances will be available along the route of the Traslacion, while 32 others will be put on standby for emergency situations.
A tent will serve as an emergency unit that will cater to patients with special medical needs that cannot be attended in the first-aid stations.
Gordon said emergency units in nearby hospitals will also be available if needed.
For the safety of the Traslacion 2019 participants, the Red Cross stationed three rescue boats and an amphibian vehicle along the route, where there are bodies of water such as the Pasig River.
Gordon advised those who are sick not to join the crowd to avoid health risks, as well as children.
Traslacion is considered one of the biggest annual religious activities in the Philippines.
It will be held on Jan. 9 and the Metro Manila police are expecting over 2.5 million devotees to attend.