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Emulate ‘peaceful’ EDSA 1 attitude at Rizal Park Papal mass, Pinoys asked


With millions expected to gather at Quirino Grandstand for Pope Francis' concluding Mass on January 18, Filipinos attending the event were asked to emulate the "peaceful" attitude displayed at the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution.

In a press briefing on Monday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the attendees should be "mahinahon, mapagbigay, at magalang" during the event.

He added that they are expecting around five million people to attend, a figure taken from the reported attendance during now-Saint John Paul II's visit in 1995.

However, Coloma clarified that they are expecting a spillover of the crowd along Roxas Boulevard, as Rizal Park can only accommodate around 1 million to 1.2 million people.

Because of the expected crowd, 18 giant LED screens will be placed around the area to enable people to watch the event, said Fr. Rufino Sescon of the organizing team's steering committee.

 
"Para naman po 'yung mga nasa Roxas Boulevard going to Anda Circle, kung mag-spillover ... the video walls will help the people still monitor and know what's happening," he said.
 
He added that certain roads leading to the Quirino Grandstand are expected to be cleared upon Pope Francis' request to be able to go around Luneta before the mass.
 
Sescon said they have "requested" for concrete barriers from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to be "lined up across the Rizal Park" for the concluding mass to enable the Pope to do this.
 
"In coordination with the DPWH and security [committee], [iki-clear] 'yung [T.M.] Kalaw, [Maria Y.] Orosa, then [P.] Burgos [Street] and Roxas Boulevard. Saka papasok po sa South Road po going to the [Quirino] Grandstand. Hopefully po 'yung road na 'yun ang ma-clear," he said.
 
The clearing of the roads is expected to lessen the number of people at Rizal Park and near the grandstand, officials said.
 
"Malaki rin naman talaga 'yung spread na pwedeng paglagyan ng mga tao, and that is our wish, na mag-spread ang mga tao," Coloma said. "'Yung paggamit ng LED [screens] hopefully mapigilan 'yung pagkakaroon ng surge [ng crowd.]"
 
Thousands to help in mass
 
At least 10,000 people will be assisting in the mass given the large crowd that officials are expecting.
 
According to Fr. Carmelo Arada Jr. of the service committee on liturgy, 5,000 communion distributors and 5,000 ushers will be at the mass, with 20 communion stations spread around the venue.
 
Aside from them, the choir for the mass will have 1,000 members, accompanied by a 200-piece orchestra, Sescon added.
 
He also said that 2,500 priests and 200 bishops will concelebrate the mass to be led by the Pope.
 
A "special section" will be allotted for members of certain sectors "because the Holy Father would really want to meet certain people in society," Sescon said. The representatives of the sectors include 500 each from among:
 
* persons with disabilities,
* the urban poor,
* religious, and
* lay leaders.
 
Youth "under the pastoral care of the church," either for rehabilitation or those in orphanages, as well as representatives from the government and the diplomatic corps, will also be in the said section, he added.
 
'One parent, one child'
 
With this, the Department of Health (DOH) asked that a "one parent, one child" policy be observed at the event in order to prevent children getting lost or missing during the mass. 
 
DOH Asst. Sec. Gerardo Bayugo also asked attendees to "have concern for the safety of others," and to "not push and shove other devotees."
 
There will be 20 first-aid stations at the site, Bayugo said. Twenty ambulances "with teams" will also be on standby during the event, as well as 120 volunteers—including volunteers for the annual Translacion of the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo, which will be held days before the Pope's arrival on Jan. 15.
 
They also have partners from the Philippine Red Cross, and have coordinated with "all DOH hospitals in Metro Manila," as well as several government hospitals and private medical centers. — BM/NB, GMA News
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