It has been reported since early this year that Pope Francis will visit those who have been gravely affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haian) in Leyte last year. Because this is a rare opportunity, many other cities in the Philippines are wishing to be graced by the Holy See’s presence, one of which is Metro Manila.
Pope Francis Manila 2015 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada declared on Thursday, 27 November 2014, the suspension of classes on all levels for both public and private schools as well as work in government offices from January 15 to 19, 2015. This is in line with the anticipated visit of His Holiness Pope Francis in the Philippines.
The Executive Order 75 was signed by Mayor Estrada, which was recommended by the Manila City Committee for the Papal Visit, the Manila Police Department and Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office in order “to ensure public order and convenience.”
It was stated in the executive order that “Work in all departments, offices and bureau of the City Government of Manila except those involved in the maintenance of peace and order, disaster and risk management, traffic enforcement, health and sanitation, is suspended from January 15 to 19, 2015.”
It also added, “The suspension of work in all private office in Manila is left to the discretion of their management.”
Mayor Estrada also ordered his city officials who are responsible for the security of the said event to submit their plans for the Papal visit on or before December 15, 2014.
Mr. Estrada said, “The Manila Committee for the Papal Visit, the Manila Police District, the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, the Manila Traffic Management Committee, the Manila Health Department and the Department of Public Services must submit their peace and security plan, traffic management plan, risk management and emergency response plan to the undersigned for approval on or before December 15, 2014.”
The Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church’s itinerary will include a visit to the Malacanang Palace, Manila Cathedral, Rizal Park and the University of Sto. Tomas. The office of the president has yet to announce whether to declare holiday in Metro Manila during the Papal Visit.
The Philippine Ambassador the Holy See Marciano Paynor, who is also a member of the executive committee, said the national government is considering making the dates of the Supreme Pontiff’s visit a holiday, although final words are yet to come from the Palace.