Firecrackers, drones, vendors banned from ‘Traslacion’
MANILA, Philippines — To maintain a peaceful “Traslacion”of the Black Nazarene by hundreds of thousands of its devotees, the Manila Police District (MPD) is banning firecrackers and firearms during the procession on Thursday.
Aside from deadly weapons, authorities will disallow unauthorized drones along the 6.16-kilometer route of the Black Nazarene’s journey back to Quiapo Church from the Quirino Grandstand.
Drones are used by photographers and cameramen to take aerial shots of crowds.
Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba, the MPD chief, on Wednesday said people under the influence of alcohol should stay away from the procession to avoid any unintended harm or damage to anyone.
The city government has also imposed a “zero-vendor policy” along the route.
“Not one person would be allowed to sell items on the procession route. They would be apprehended,” Lt. Col. Reynaldo Magdaluyo, the MPD Station 3 commander, said.
More than 900 Manila traffic enforcers will help implement a rerouting.
Dennis Viaje, chief the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, advised the public to avoid streets around Quiapo due to road closures.
Rescue units have been on standby since Wednesday afternoon after the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office went on red alert ahead of the procession.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured the public that the authorities had planned for contingencies and deployed as many as 13,000 policemen to secure the traslacion.
‘All bases covered’
In addition to the police officers, he said 10 firetrucks and at least three coast guard boats would be deployed.
“Despite it taking a shorter route than usual, we guarantee the public and the devotees of the Black Nazarene that all bases are covered and all security measures are in place for the Traslacion 2020,” Año said in a statement.
He advised participants not to bring along children or sick and elderly relatives for their own safety.
Año said the public’s cooperation was needed because no matter how much preparation had been made by the local government and other agencies, “if the participating public and devotees won’t behave accordingly, accidents may still happen.”
The police officers to be deployed include 2,144 from Metro Manila’s mobile force battalion and Special Action Force to secure the “andas” (portable platform) wall; 1,065 from the Eastern Police District to handle crowd control; and 1,206 from the National Capital Region Police Office to patrol the Quiapo Church.
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