Superintendent Lucille Faycho of the MPD said last year's crowd estimated at 18 million during the 10-day novena prior to the Black Nazarene feast could increase to 18.9 million this year.
This specific procession, known as the Translación, takes place on 9 January and attracts the largest crowds. After setting off at dawn, it arrived at the city's Quiapo Church in the early evening, after stopping at 12 prayer stations en route.
If approved, the proposed liquor ban will cover the 5-kilometer radius of the procession route including Quirino Grandstand and Quiapo Church.
"We hope that the procession would be shorter this year".
500 soldiers, 1,300 MMDA men The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday said it would send 500 soldiers to augment the police force and help secure the Black Nazarene feast.
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Manila is hosting the International Pilgrimage of the Black Nazarene.
Explaining the strong Filipino devotion, Monsignor Sabino Vengco, a prominent Catholic priest, told CNN Philippines: "People will suffer sickness, old age.so pain and suffering will always be there", he said.
Also on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would deploy some 1,300 personnel to help secure next week's feast.
There will also be a walkthrough along the route of the procession to ensure the safety of the millions expected to attend the event.
After a grueling 22 hours, the image of the Black Nazarene is home.
Drawn by devotees pulling on thick ropes attached to its carriage, the icon left a central Manila park with 490,000 people in tow waving white towels and chanting "Viva" ("Long live"), Manila police said. Instead of the eastbound lane of P. Burgos and Lagusnilad, the procession will take the westbound lane of P. Burgos.
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