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Traslacion to delay US Embassy office hours on January 09

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Filipinos having transactions with the United States Embassy in Manila on Tuesday, Jan. 9, will have to wait a bit for the embassy to open, due to the yearly Traslacion or procession of the Black Nazarene.

In a security message to US citizens posted on its website, the embassy said it will have a “delayed opening” at 10 a.m.

“The U.S. Embassy in Manila will have a delayed opening at 10 am on Tuesday, January 9, due to the Procession of the Black Nazarene, one of the largest religious gatherings in the Philippines,” it said (https://ph.usembassy.gov/security-message-u-s-citizens-procession-black-nazarene/).

Also, the embassy noted the Manila City government has declared Jan. 9 a “local holiday” with all city offices and schools closed.

Millions of devotees are expected to take part in the yearly procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church on Jan. 9.

Philippine authorities have taken measures to ensure the security of devotees as well as the public.

The US Embassy noted crowds will start gathering in the Rizal Park area on Jan. 8, Monday. On Tuesday, the procession will proceed to Quiapo Church, approximately 4.5 miles total distance.

“The procession is expected to last approximately 12-22 hours due to the immense crowds along the route,” it said.

On the other hand, the embassy said traffic in downtown Manila “is expected to be heavy as people assemble to participate in the event, and during the event itself.”

“Road closures and substantial pedestrian and vehicular traffic along Roxas Boulevard and adjacent major thoroughfares are expected,” it added.

It also said the Philippine National Police has advised mobile phone coverage will be jammed in the vicinity of areas along the route of the procession, and cell phone disruptions are possible throughout Metro Manila.

“A 48-hour gun ban measure will take effect in Manila from Sunday, January 8 to Tuesday, January 10 as an added security measure. All civilian permits to carry firearms outside of residences will be suspended in the city from Sunday, 8:00 am to Tuesday, 8:00 am. Only the military, police, and law enforcement officials on duty and in uniform are authorized to carry arms,” it said.

The Embassy reminded US citizens to take preventive measures to ensure their safety and security, and to exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.