Manila Mayor Francisco Domogoso has suspended classes in all levels in Manila on Jan. 9 in connection with the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.
Domagoso also ordered the suspension of work in all departments, offices, and bureaus under the supervision of the Manila City government.
“In consideration of public order and safety as well as the reduction of traffic congestion during this occasion, the suspension of classes for all levels in all universities, colleges and schools in the City of Manila, and the suspension of work in the City Government Offices, is recommended,” Domogoso’s order read.
READ: MMDA, Manila brace for Nazarene parade
The order, however, does not cover the city government offices involved in maintaining peace and order, public services, traffic enforcement, disaster risk reduction and management as well as sanitation.
Suspension of work in national government agencies and private companies has been left to the discretion of their respective management or heads of office.
Also on Thursday, the major roads in the city will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic to give way to the annual Traslacion Chairman Danilo Lim of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said the route of the Traslacion will start from Quirino Grandstand, Katigbak Road through Padre Burgos Street, Finance Road through Ayala Boulevard, Palanca Street, Quezon Boulevard, Arlegui Street, Fraternal Street, Vergara Street, Duque de Alba Street, Castillejos Street, Farnecio Street, Arlegui Street, Nepomuceno Street, Concepcion Aguila Street, Carcer Street, Hidalgo through Plaza Del Carmen, Bilibid Viejo through Gil Puyat, JP De Guzman Street, Hidalgo Street, Quezon Boulevard, Palanca Street under Quezon Bridge, Villalobos through Plaza Miranda and end in Quiapo Church.
READ: ‘Traslacion’ takes on new, shorter, route— church rector
“Our action plan is already in place. Aside from manpower, ambulances, road emergency vehicles, traffic mobile cars and other necessary equipment will also be dispatched,” Lim said. With Vito Barcelo
He ordered the clearing of the procession’s route of obstruction and debris for the safety of the devotees.
On Monday, members of the agency’s Task Group Alpha were dispatched to conduct sidewalk cleaning and to clear all illegal parking and other road obstructions in the procession route.
Meanwhile, Domagoso urged the public to keep the streets clean as the huge procession will be held from Luneta to Quiapo.
“I want the entire stretch of the Traslacion [route] to be clear visually [of vendors and other obstructions],” he said, to ensure the safety of the mostly barefoot devotees.
Monsignor Hernando Coronel, the Rector of Quiapo Church, also encouraged the devotees “to cut down on plastic waste and other discards for a cleaner and safer Traslacion.”
“Let us make the protection and preservation of the environment a key part of our responsibility and mission as devotees and followers of Christ,” he said.
Last Friday, environmentalist groups Ecowaste Coalition and Buklod Tao, together with church groups, gathered at Plaza Miranda to encourage Black Nazarene devotees to aim for a plastic-free and trash-less observance of the Traslacion.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this year’s Traslacion will depart from the habitual trashing of Luneta and the processional route as devotees carry out their spiritual vows in an eco-friendly manner. Littering, which has somewhat become part of the religious feast, is a bad habit that everyone has to unlearn and break away from,” said Buklod Tao founder Noli Abinales.
Zero waste campaigner Jove Benosa encouraged the Black Nazarene devotees to live out their faith by keeping the surroundings trash-free, which could inspire others to follow.
“We ask the faithful to express and live their faith in a way that will protect the environment from preventable pollutants such as disposable plastics,” he said.
“We remain hopeful that the repeated reminders from all quarters to cut back on plastic waste and other discards will not again fall on deaf ears.
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