While millions of Filipino Catholics are preparing themselves spiritually for Pope Francis’ visit, the Philippine government is exhausting all means to ensure that the Papal visit goes without any hitch.
Around 40,000 soldiers and police officers are assigned to protect Pope Francis and to maintain order during the Pope’s 5-day state and apostolic visit.
From January 15 to 19, millions are expected to troop to Metro Manila to participate in the activities scheduled during the Papal Visit.
Despite of possible terrorist attacks, stampedes, and other security breaches, the Catholic faithful would not be dissuaded to show their reverence to Pope Francis. They will brave the crowd just to listen to hymns sung along with melodicas, to hear the Pope’s message to the Filipino people, and to catch a glimpse of His Holiness.
Due to the number of devotees expected to flock the city, the national government declared a three-day holiday in the National Capital Region.
Some major thoroughfares will be closed while the Pope is in the city. Policemen have also been assigned to maintain peace and order along the routes the Pope will be taking going to different venues.
The government has also called on the help of the private sector and various church organizations to ensure peace and order during all congregations.