Adding It All Up: A Look At The Numbers Behind The Papal Visit Of Pope Francis To The Philippines

Adding It All Up: A Look At The Numbers Behind The Papal Visit Of Pope Francis To The Philippines

The visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines was a momentous occasion and a phenomenal success on many levels. A lot of people had to put in a lot of hard work to make it all happen and here is a look at some of the numbers behind the biggest event of the year. 

Pope-Francis-Philippines-Manila-Papal-Visit-2014Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he passes along Roxas Boulevard in his Popemobile

76 million: The estimated number of Catholics in the Philippines

6 Million: The estimated number of people who attended the closing mass with Pope Francis at Quirino Grandstand. This number also includes devotees who gathered in the surrounding streets, and the event is widely circulated as having been the biggest papal event ever.

138: The number of metric tons of trash collected from Rizal Park and surrounding areas after the closing mass. That’s more than 25 truckloads.

25,000: The total number of PNP officers directly deployed for the papal visit. In addition, leave for all 150,000 PNP personnel was cancelled as the whole organization was put on high alert.

17,000: The number of PNP officers who lined the streets to secure the Pope’s travel from Villamor Airbase in Pasay City to the Apostolic Nunciature in Malate, Manila, upon his arrival in the country. Similar numbers were also deployed every time the papal motorcade made its way through the city.

Pope-Francis-Philippines-Manila-Papal-Visit-2014 (1)The most heard comment on the day: “I didn’t even know Manila had this many police officers!”

23,000: The number of concrete barriers deployed along the various routes Pope Francis took during his visit. The barriers were mainly used for crowd control, as the road itself was closed for traffic anyway.

20,000: The number of volunteers who acted as human barricades along the route of the papal convoy in Manila (in addition to the PNP staff deployed there).

12,000: The number military personnel deployed by the AFP for the papal visit. 


Blink and you’ll miss him: How many, myself included, experienced the arrival of the Pope in Manila.


2,000: The number of MMDA traffic enforcers who were apparently issued with adult diapers in preparation for the Pope’s visit. There has been no official word on how many officers actually wore them and images purporting to show MMDA personnel wandering the streets in diapers have since been found to be fake.

225: At least this many flights were cancelled by various airlines due to Pope Francis arriving in, or departing from, Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Dozens more had to be rescheduled. 

P500,000: The potential fine awaiting a photographer who used a drone to take pictures in the No-Fly Zone surrounding all official Papal venues and routes.  

P17 Billion: A rough estimate of the financial impact to the Philippine economy due to the additional three holidays in the NCR. The electronics industry alone loses roughly P1.2 billion per day when a public holiday occurs.


Adding It All Up: A Look At The Numbers Behind The Papal Visit Of Pope Francis To The Philippines