Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has declared a five-day holiday in the nation’s capital city as Pope Francis goes to the Philippines for an Apostolic Visit from January 15 to 19, 2015.
During those dates (it will cover Thursday to Monday), classes from preschool to college are suspended for both private and public schools throughout Manila. A copy of Estrada’s order was originally uploaded in his Facebook page.
Likewise, there will also be a work holiday in all departments, offices, and bureaus under the city government. However, employees involved in the maintenance of peace and order (e.g. police officials and traffic enforcers), disaster and risk management, as well as health and sanitation are not covered by this.
In his executive order, Estrada noted that he is suspending classes and work in city government offices upon the recommendation of the Manila Police District and the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.
The mayor added that the suspension of work in private offices is up to their respective managements. Malacanang, for its part, is yet to make an announcement about possible work suspensions on those dates in national government offices located in Manila.
Pope Francis is scheduled to hold several public and closed-door events around Manila during his upcoming visit. In the morning of January 16, the Argentinian Pontiff will be paying a courtesy call to President Benigno Aquino III at the Malacanang Palace.
That afternoon, he is set to hold a mass in the Manila Cathedral with selected bishops, priests, and members of the laity. Later that night, he will take part in the Encounter with Families at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in nearby Pasay City.
Pope Francis will spend most of January 17 to visit the victims of super typhoon Yolanda, but he will be back in Manila later that night to prepare for his last two public activities the next day – the Encounter with the Youth to be held at the University of Santo Tomas and the Concluding Mass at the Quirino Grandstand.
He will leave Manila for Rome in the morning of January 19. The full itinerary of Pope Francis’ Philippine visit can be read here.
(Note: January 9 2015, which is the Feast of the Black Nazarene housed in the famous Quiapo Church, is also expected to be declared a holiday in Manila. Please check back for updates.)