Manaoag town expects pilgrims influx during holy week

MANAOAG, Pangasinan – The local government unit here is finalizing security plans and traffic schemes to ensure a peaceful and orderly observance of the Holy Week by pilgrims to the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Rosary of Manaoag.

In an interview on Monday, Manaoag Mayor Jeremy Agerico Rosario said they are in constant coordination with government agencies and local officials for the expected surge of pilgrims in the city, which currently sees 55,000 weekly tourist arrivals.

“We have volunteer force multipliers who are there to help us as well as government agencies such as the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, and Bureau of Fire Protection, among others who will augment our security force,” he said.

Rosario said he will issue an executive order for the implementation of a truck ban on Holy Week. “We will be requesting our neighboring towns to [await] the issuance of the truck ban. This is to prevent big trucks, especially at the town proper to ease traffic congestion,” he said.

He added that a traffic rerouting plan will be in place even as more parking spaces will be made available and four ambulances will be on standby.

“Our emergency response team will be on red alert status together with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Rural Health Unit, and the local police for ensuring safety and emergency responses,” Rosario said.

Rosario also reminded devotees and those who will join the night walk (Alay Lakad) to take precautionary measures.

“Although it seems that everything is now back to normal with regards to the movement of people, we advise the public to still wear face masks, especially when inside the church where it will surely be crowded,” he said. (PNA)