PH officials hope to accomodate millions during Pope mass

By Eugene Adalla, ABS-CBN News MANILA – With several days to go before Pope Francis arrives in the country Elvira Prinsipyo couldn’t contain her excitement.

“This rarely happens and I want to be here for it,” said Prinsipyo.

Hailing from Rizal, Elvira planned to pitch a tent near the Quirino grandstand so as not to miss the pope for his mass on the 18th.

Problem is that’s not allowed.

Organizers are not turning their backs on those from faraway places. People will be allowed to camp out in several spots. Those areas however will be quite a distance from the grandstand.

“In consideration with those who traveled from so far, we will try and accommodate everyone but it will be very hard to please all those who came from very distant provinces,” said Jojo Alcovendaz, city administrator in Manila.

Roads near the grandstand will also be closed on the 18th and attendees would have to prepare to walk for at least two kilometers to get near the grandstand.

There will be eight convergence points for people including Taft Avenue, Kalaw and the Katigbak parkway.

“For the people who want to attend the mass it’s a sacrifice because the walk is a bit far,” said Alcovendaz.

The health department will install 20 medical tents to be manned by 300 responders within the inner perimeter of the grandstand while 12 stations will be set up in the outer perimeter.

The Philippine Red Cross, meanwhile, will also field its own teams and will set up a field hospital capable of handling even surgeries.

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