This January 9, 2019 shows devotees carrying the statue of the Black Nazarene to the carriage at the start of the annual religious procession in Manila
AFP/Noel Celis
Classes, gov't work in Manila suspended on Jan. 9 for Nazarene traslacion
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - January 6, 2020 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The City of Manila suspended classes in public and private schools, and work in the city government except in certain offices on January 9 to give way to the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno ordered this through Executive Order 2 issued Monday.

The suspension of classes covers all levels in all education institutions in the nation’s capital.

Work in Manila City Hall is also suspended “except those involved in frontline services which include maintenance of peace and order, public services, traffic enforcement, disaster and risk reduction management, health and sanitation.”

Meanwhile, the suspension of work in other government offices and private companies in the city is left to the discretion of their management or heads of office.

Millions of devotees are expected to participate in the annual Black Nazarene procession, commonly referred to as “traslacion.” The police estimated that around four million devotees joined the 21-hour traslacion last year.

This year’s procession will follow a different route, with the image of the Black Nazarene taking the Ayala Bridge, instead of the Jones Bridge.

Security preparations

In a press briefing on Monday, Police Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said the Philippine National Police says it is profiling groups and threats "who may take advantage of or may sympathize with" the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike last week.

"There are also security concerns... of course there may be some who are sympathetic either by race or ideology," he said

Gamboa said the PNP will adjust security measures for the feast of the Black Nazarene, which more than a million devotees are expected to attend, if they see a threat related to US-Iran tension.

He said, though, that the police see "no direct threat or direct implication that it is so."

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