700 portalets readied for papal visit

Raisa Serafica
700 portalets readied for papal visit
A special portalet prepared for Pope Francis is air-conditioned and bigger than regular ones

MANILA, Philippines – There’s a special portalet – bigger and air-conditioned – that will be provided for Pope Francis at the Manila Cathedral in case nature calls.

According to Dionisio Saut of the Integrated Waste Management Incorporated (IWMI), the special portalet is used only for very special occasions and for important personalities.

PAPAL VISIT. Five sets of portalets are spread out around Manila Cathedral for the papal visit. Photo by Sarah Olan

Expected to draw more than 5 million Filipinos from across the country, Pope Francis’ visit to the country poses a security and sanitation nightmare to organizers and officials. Given the dense crowd, portalets are expected to attract kilometric queues throughout the day.

In fact, the Department of Health has already recommended the use of adult diapers for those planning to attend the papal Mass at the Luneta, to prevent potential health problems.

There are more than 700 portalets to cater to millions of Filipinos who will flock to papal visit venues in Manila alone. They are spread out as follows:

  • 20 in Villamor Airbase
  • 80 in the Mall of Asia
  • 100 at the University of Sto Tomas
  • 31 at the Manila Cathedral area (including Pope’s special portalet)
  • 470 at the Luneta

IWMI also supplied the portalets for notable events in the country’s history, including the 1991 Pinatubo eruption aftermath, the arrival of John Paul II, and the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban. – Rappler.com


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Raisa Serafica

Raisa Serafica is the Unit Head of Civic Engagement of Rappler. As the head of MovePH, Raisa leads the on ground engagements of Rappler aimed at building a strong community of action in the Philippines. Through her current and previous roles at Rappler, she has worked with different government agencies, collaborated with non-governmental organizations, and trained individuals mostly on using digital technologies for social good.