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Become like children?

When Pope Francis visited the Philippines last month, traffic enforcers had to find a unique solution to the problem of continuing in their roles while surrounded by huge crowds. The problem was not just the inevitable gridlock, but how they would find the time and space to answer calls of nature alongside those from stuck traffic.

So, it was decided that the 2,000 officers on duty during the papal visit should wear adult nappies. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino also encouraged people who waited for hours to see the pope to also kit themselves out this way.

The prospect of wearing diapers while on duty was 'well received' by his staff, said Tolentino.

The idea was tested on the Friday before the visit by the 800 traffic enforcers who work shifts during the annual procession of the Black Nazarene. It was be the first time that traffic officials in the Philippines wore nappies while carrying out their essential duties.

'If you attend an event that will last for 24 hours, you cannot go around looking for a (portable toilet),' Tolentino said, encouraging priests, nuns, seminarians, and the elderly to wear nappies too.

The Black Nazarene procession attracts hundreds of thousands of barefoot worshippers who parade a centuries- old black statue of Jesus Christ. Those who attend believe the statue possesses healing powers and that it offers good health and fortune to those who seek it.

The 6.7-kilometre procession, which reaches the Minor Basilica at around midnight, has to be flanked by volunteers and government agency workers to keep some order to the throng of devotes. Many try their utmost to throw small towels to volunteers staffing the carriage, believing that wiping parts of the cross will transfer its healing powers to them. In fatal irony, this year two people died and thousands were injured in the crush to view the procession.

In response, President Benigno Aquino III dispatched 25,000 police and soldiers to keep order for the Pope's visit, since the 6,000 deployed to secure the Black Nazarene proved insufficient.