‘Epals’ told: Keep off ‘Traslacion’
An environmental watchdog has asked politicians not to turn the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9 into an opportunity to campaign.
“We urge our politicians to show respect for the time-honored commemoration of the ‘traslacion’ by not putting up tarpaulins and distributing leaflets and other promotional materials which will only turn into ugly litter,” said Daniel Alejandre, EcoWaste Coalition’s Zero Waste campaigner.
In a statement, he appealed to “epalitikos” — a term referring to “traditional politicians seeking attention” — to restrain themselves in the absence of a law that bans premature campaigning.
EcoWaste expressed concern that leaflets and tarpaulins distributed by politicians would add to the garbage dumped along the procession route.
Alejandre said that based on the data of the Manila City government, 385 tons of mixed trash were collected last year between Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park and the Quiapo district during the traditional “pahalik” and the 6-kilometer procession compared to 341 tons in 2017.
Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez supported EcoWaste’s appeal as he urged politicians not to engage in premature campaigning during the religious event.
“We urge all candidates not to campaign outside the official campaign period, and to be always mindful of the environmental impact of their campaigning activities,” he said.
To make way for the millions of devotees expected to join the procession, the Traffic Enforcement Unit of the Manila Police District (MPD) will close several roads on Jan. 8 and 9.
Starting at 10 p.m. on Jan. 8, no vehicles will be allowed on Katigbak Drive and South Drive (one lane accessible to Manila and H2O Hotel); the northbound lane of Quezon and McArthur Bridge from Bonifacio Shrine onward; and the stretch of Taft Avenue from Ayala Boulevard to Bonifacio Shrine.
Motorists headed southbound on Bonifacio Drive and Roxas Boulevard should pass through Anda Circle going to A. Soriano Avenue, turn right on Gen. Luna Street to Burgos-Orosa Street, then turn left on T.M. Kalaw Street toward Taft Avenue, the MPD said.
Northbound vehicles intending to use the portion of Roxas Boulevard from T.M. Kalaw Street to P. Burgos Street should turn right on T.M. Kalaw Street, left to Orosa Street heading toward Intramuros, then left on A. Soriano Avenue.
Around midnight on Jan. 9, the MPD will close to traffic McArthur, Jones and Quezon Bridges; Roxas Boulevard from Katigbak Drive to T.M. Kalaw Street; the southbound lanes of Quezon Boulevard (Quiapo) from A. Mendoza/Fugoso Street and España Boulevard/P. Campa Street; and the northbound lanes of Quezon Boulevard from Taft Avenue/Ayala Boulevard.
In 2018, it took devotees 23 hours to make the 6.1-km trek from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church.
The southbound lane of Quezon Boulevard (Quiapo) from A. Mendoza/Fugoso to Plaza Miranda and the westbound lane of España Boulevard from P. Campa to Lerma Street will also be closed by 11 a.m. today to prepare for the Blessing and Replica Procession.
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