Diapers For Pope Francis? Filipino Traffic Police Will Wear Them, Because Port-O-Potties Are The Worst

The Pope visiting is a big deal, no doubt, and a lot of hard work and preparation goes into making sure the Pontiff's visit goes without a hitch. Next week, the Philippines will welcome Pope Francis with open arms — and to make sure things go as smoothly as is surely planned, Filipino traffic police will wear diapers for Francis' visit.

Some 2,000 on-duty traffic enforcers will strap on adult diapers, said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman, Francis Tolentino, during the papal visit from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, so as to free them from the hassle of going to the bathroom to relieve themselves. Tolentino also said on Wednesday that the prospect of wearing diapers while directing traffic was "well received" by his men, noting that it would be — gasp, surely not! — the first time traffic police in the predominantly Catholic nation will wear diapers while on duty.

The "dry run" will be tested on 800 police officers who will work a more or less 24-hour shift on Friday for the Black Nazarene procession, an event in which hundreds of thousands of Filipino Catholics march barefoot through the streets carrying a life-sized, centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus Christ that is believed to hold mystical powers that cure ailments and grant wishes of good health and fortune.

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I suppose Tolentino then decided that everyone might as well go ahead wear diapers, too, as he suggested that priests, nuns, seminarians, and the elderly should consider the super practical idea. The Guardian reported the MMDA chairman saying:

If you attend an event that will last for 24 hours, you cannot go around looking for a [portable toilet].

Indeed you cannot! Have you ever been to a crowded outdoor event at which you spend 30 percent of your time lining up to use a Port-O-Potty, and then somehow your eyes always accidentally stray to the potty itself and its horrifying contents because your cruel subconscious is constantly forcing you to confront your deepest, darkest fears? Tolentino knows.

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In a statement by the MMDA, its assistant general manager for operations, Emerson Carlos, said that adult diapers have been a worn by members in various organizations throughout the world — even NASA astronauts wore diapers during shuttle launches and reentry — adding:

These diapers are actually being used regularly as standard operating gear for soldiers belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States Army to fight Talibans in Afghanistan since 2012 — even the Buckingham Palace guards.
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Carlos acknowledged how adult diapers, although seemingly silly at first, are actually very practical:

It is understandable that the idea may seem ridiculous to a few or maybe a majority, at first glance. But we need to look at it in its proper perspective, which is its practicality, considering the limited number of portalets in tomorrow’s event. The benefits outweigh the negative notion. Some people are quick to deride our efforts. But we at the MMDA take comfort in the fact that we are doing these practical measures to better serve the public.

Anything to ensure no Port-O-Potty-related stampedes occur, I guess. When asked if he himself would be setting an example for his fellow traffic enforcers, Tolentino told the Associated Press:

I will try, but in my case, I have less hydration.

Image: Getty Images (3)