(Photo from Pope Francis Facebook page)
While President Aquino is still thinking whether or not to declare a national holiday on the much-anticipated visit of Pope Francis , the city of Manila through Mayor Joseph Estrada has already decided that there will be no classes on all levels and no work in government offices from January 15 to 19, 2015 – the time when the beloved Pope is in town.
In the interest of ensuring “public order and convenience,” Estrada signed Executive Order 75 declaring the suspension of classes and government work in the city. He left it to the private sector to decide on the matter of declaring holidays in their respective offices.
Exempted from the order, however, are policemen, traffic personnel and those whose work are in disaster risk management, health and sanitation.
The Pope’s official itinerary in his visit to the Philippines shows that he will spend majority of his time in the city of Manila. The highlights are his courtesy call to Malacanang, masses at Manila Cathedral and Rizal Park, meetings at Mall of Asia Arena and the University of Santo Tomas.
January 17 is the only day he will be away from the city as he will spend it with the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban.
The full schedule of Pope Francis’ historic visit to the Philippines follows:
January 15, 2015 – Thursday
The Pope will arrive in Manila at 5:45 pm and there will be a motorcade to the Apostolic Nunciature on Taft Avenue
January 16, 2015 – Friday
There will be a welcome ceremony in Malacañang at 9:15 am where, of course, the Pope will meet with President Aquino
At 10:15 am, the Pope will meet with the diplomatic corps and other officials, followed by a motorcade to the Manila Cathedral
11:15 am : Holy Mass by Pope Francis at the Manila Cathedral, followed by a motorcade to the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City
5:30 pm – The Pope will meet with families at the Mall of Asia Arena
January 17, 2015 – Saturday
At 8:15 am, the Pope will depart for Tacloban City, from Villamor Air Base
9:15 am – he will arrive in Tacloban
10 am – Concelebrated Mass near the Tacloban airport
12:45 pm – Lunch with several Yolanda survivors at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo, Leyte
3 pm – Blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor in Palo, Leyte
3:30 pm – Meeting with priests, consecrated persons, seminarians, and families of Yolanda survivors at the Palo Cathedral
5 pm –The Pope will depart for Manila
6:15 pm – Arrival in Manila, at the Villamor Air Base
January 18, 2015 – Sunday
9:45 am – The Pope will meet with leaders of various religions at UST campus in Manila
10:30 am – Meeting with the youth in the sports field of UST, and a speech by Pope Francis; followed by a motorcade to Rizal Park
3:30 pm – Concluding Mass at Rizal Park, Manila
January 19, 2015 – Monday
9:45 am – Departure ceremony at the Presidential Pavilion, Villamor Air Base
10 am – The Pope flies back to Rome