Philippine traffic officers and crowd control personnel are to wear adult diapers on the job during next week’s visit of Pope Francis, when they will spend long hours marshalling crowds expected to run into the millions, authorities said Thursday.
The nappies will ensure that about a thousand of the personnel can stay at their posts without diverting for the call of nature during the papal tour, Metro Manila Development Authority official Emerson Carlos told AFP.
He said the diapers will get a trial run during the procession of the Black Nazarene, an annual parade of a wooden image of Jesus Christ which will also draw enormous crowds in the capital on Friday.
“We will be giving them these diapers because we don’t know when the crowds may rush in,” said Carlos, the agency’s deputy general manager for operations.
The government expects millions from Asia’s biggest Catholic population to turn out for the much-admired pope, especially for an early evening mass in Manila on January 18.
The diaper plan has attracted some ridicule in Philippine media, but Carlos was undaunted.
“It just requires a shift in outlook if it is really necessary,” he said, adding “there have been no complaints” from the traffic constables themselves.
National police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said the 25,000 regular police officers on papal security detail would not be following the lead of the Metro Manila Authority.
“We are trained for these situations and as of now, we have not considered (diapers),” he said