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Monday, December 1, 2014

Papal Holiday Declaration Mulled

The declaration of a Papal holiday is being seriously considered by the government   in connection with the forthcoming visit of Pope Francis to the country from January 15 to 19 next year, according to the Papal Visit Central Committee.
“We are seriously considering [the possibility] and in due time we will announce if there is going to be holidays on those days,” said former ambassador to Israel Marciano Paynor Jr. in the CBCP News post.
Paynor said that a Papal holiday will likely be declared, similar to what was done during the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines in 1995.
“When John Paul II came here a holiday period had also been declared … It is under very serious and close study,” Paynor said.
The holiday declaration is aimed at minimizing the impact of the event on vehicular traffic, especially in areas in the vicinity of or near churches, schools and parks to be visited by the pontiff.
The declaration of a Papal holiday will likewise allow Catholics, especially those not studying or working in the city of Manila, to take part in various activities lined up for the Papal visit.
Earlier, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada announced a five-day, non-working holiday in the city, covering the entire duration of the Pope’s visit.
The city government said the holiday declaration is in anticipation of the millions of Filipinos and even foreign nationals who are expected to troop to the nation’s capital to take part or witness activities and motorcades slated at the Manila Cathedral, University of Santo Tomas,  Quirino Grandstand, and Malacañang Palace.
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