TACLOBAN CITY- For those attending the Mass at the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport to be presided no less by Pope Francis on January 17, better read this. Among the prohibited items identified by security personnel during the Mass, to be conducted at the apron of the DZR Airport, include prohibitions on the bringing of food and water unless placed in a transparent container or bag; umbrella will also be a no-no and bladed weapons or sharp objects.

However, those who will attend the Mass are encouraged to bring bull caps or hats to protect them from the heat or rain coats just in case there will be some rain on that day.  Regional Tourism Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said the Pope’s security and safety is not only the state’s concern, but of everybody. “The Pope is our visitor and we should ensure the visit is a significant activity and when the pope leaves the country, he should felt our love and hospitality”, Tiopes said. Water stations and portalets are to be placed at the Mass site where about 150,000 pilgrims are projected to attend the Mass. S/Supt Teodoro Basa, deputy commander of task group Leyte of the papal visit, said that of the 6,500 police personnel in the region, 2,114 will be deployed to secure the Pope and the people, while 4,000 police will do their regular duty.

The security will be beefed up to 7,000 with the support of the PNP personnel from Bicol and CARAGA regions, Presidential Security Guards, the Philippine Army, reservists, Navy and Philippine Maritime Group for sea security. Archbishop John Du of the Palo archdiocese encouraged the faithful or pilgrims to walk during the day as no vehicle will be allowed to traverse going to the papal route. By dawn of January 17, buses and cars will no longer be allowed to traverse the engagement areas of the Pope, from the Daniel Z. Romualdez airport, to Palo town which covers 12 kilometers stretch to the Archbishop Palace where he will have luncheon with 30 survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda and Bohol earthquake. (VICKY C. ARNAIZ)