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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Liquor Ban and Road Repairs for Feast of Black Nazarene

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has ordered a 24-hour liquor ban during the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Friday, January 9, and the repair of at least six damaged roads that pose a threat to the safety of the devotees.
Estrada made the announcement yesterday in a joint press briefing in Quiapo with representatives of concerned agencies in preparation for Friday’s Traslacion 2015.
In a separate interview, City Administrator Ericson “Jojo” Alcovendaz said the liquor ban will take effect on midnight of January 8 and will continue up to midnight of January 9.
The same liquor ban will be enforced in the whole city during the papal visit on January 15 to 19, according to Estrada.
Repair works have begun on the following roads after they were deemed dangerous to passing devotees following an ocular inspection made by the city engineer’s office: Hidalgo, Bilibid Viejo, Sergio Loyola, Recto, Quezon Boulevard, and Aguila streets.
The city electrician has also started repairing low-hanging wire cables in the streets that will be covered by the procession route.
Every 9 January, the Traslación of the Black Nazarene makes its way along the streets of the Quiapo district, with attendees reaching up to millions. In recent years, the processional route was altered due to a rise in vehicular and stampede accidents, to afford other neighborhoods off the traditional route a chance to participate, and because of structural deficiencies in bridges along the route. On January 9, the image of the Black Nazarene will pass through the following roads: from Quirino Grandstand to Katigbak Drive thru P. Burgos, left to Taft Ave. to Jones Bridge, right to Escolta, right to Palanca passing under Quezon Bridge, left to Quezon Blvd., right to Arlegui, right to Fraternal, right to Vergara to Duque de Alba, left to Castillejos, left to Farnecio, right to Arlegui, left to Nepomuceno (counter-flow), left to Aguila, right to Carcer, right to Hidalgo thru Plaza del Carmen, left to Bilibid Viejo thru Puyat, left to Guzman, right to Hidalgo, left to Bautista (Barbosa), right to Globo de Oro passing under Quezon Bridge, right to Palanca, right to Villalobos and finally, Quiapo church.
The whole route is estimated at 5.96 kilometers.
Manila Police District (MPD) officials have pledged to deploy a sufficient number of policemen during the event that will be augmented with personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), from the four Philippine National Police (PNP) districts in NCR and force multipliers from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) such as the barangay peacekeeping action team, barangay security officers and civilian volunteers.
The authorities reminded devotees that the route has been diverted to Jones bridge instead of MacArthur bridge due to the latter’s limited loading capacity.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Director for NCR Reynaldo Tagudando said the present load limit of MacArthur Bridge is pegged at five tons per axle and would not be able to sustain the whole line of devotees.

The Victory Lacson underpass will also be closed on January 9 but an elevated structure will be constructed to allow devotees to pass through Quezon Boulevard to the other side during the feast of the Black Nazarene. Operators of the Victory Lacson underpass will also sponsor the installation of portalets on the day of the event.
Estrada also signed an executive order declaring the suspension of classes in Manila and work in city government offices on January 9.
Meanwhile, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is appealing to Black Nazarene devotees to observe discipline to ensure an orderly and safe procession this Friday and  focus on making the Feast of Black Nazarene as a day of national unity.

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