Philippine traffic officers told to wear adult diapers during Pope's visit

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Philippine traffic officers and crowd control personnel will have their hands full next week when Pope Francis visits the country.

They will have to spend long hours marshalling crowds, which are expected to run into the millions.

So, what if they need to answer the call of nature while on duty?

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) believe they have an answer.

They have asked their officers to wear adult diapers while on the job.

Enormous crowds expected

The nappies will ensure that about a thousand of the personnel can stay at their posts without diverting to use the toilet during the papal tour, MMDA 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 Mr Carlos, the agency’s deputy general manager for operations.

The government expects millions to turn out for the much-admired pope, especially for an early evening mass in Manila on Jan 18.

'No complaints'

The diaper plan has attracted some ridicule in Philippine media, but Mr 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.

Source: AFP