LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, March 23 (PNA) — More than a million pilgrims are expected to flock to the minor Basilica of Manaoag during the Holy Week.
Last year, some one million people visited Manaoag but for this year, the police believe that the crowd would be bigger because of the upgraded status of the church as an affiliate of the St. Mary’s Major Basilica in Rome.
The projection was made by Chief Inspector Edison Revita, chief of police of Manaoag, who said under the Oplan Semana Santa, the police in his area of jurisdiction are preparing to provide security to around one million pilgrims who are visiting.
He said considering this big number of pilgrims coming, they are expecting augmentation from the Provincial and Regional Public Safety Companies and from other police units just for the duration of the Holy Week.
He said as in last year’s and in the past Holy Weeks, vehicles going to Manaoag will again experience bumper to bumper situation because of the big number of Catholic faithful going to Manaoag.
But Revita said he has anticipated the problem and together with the local government, they will implement a traffic re-routing plan to ensure smooth flow of vehicles along Manaoag’s narrow highways.
They will adopt the same technique as they did last February 16 when thousands attended a mass officiated by Archbishop Antonio Cardinal Tagle proclaiming the Manaoag Church as minor papal basilica.
Noting the big number of vehicles that may be bringing in pilgrims, Revita said additional parking areas are being set up, adding that the municipal government is now asking owners of vacant lots in the periphery of the church to allow vehicles to park.
He said that the practice of some parking boys collecting from owners parking their vehicles on the road side near the Manaoag church is illegal and will not be tolerated. (PNA)