Geraldine Sy, of the Doll Joy Gallery Museum in Pasig City, displays Pope Francis dolls on Monday at the gift shop. The dolls, measuring 30 centimeters tall, is one of many Pope Francis souvenirs being sold ahead of the visit of the pontiff to the Philippines this week.  (MNS photo)

Geraldine Sy, of the Doll Joy Gallery Museum in Pasig City, displays Pope Francis dolls on Monday at the gift shop. The dolls, measuring 30 centimeters tall, is one of many Pope Francis souvenirs being sold ahead of the visit of the pontiff to the Philippines this week. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 13 (Mabuhay) — Don’t use Pope Francis’ visit for self-promotion.

This was Malacañang’s appeal on Tuesday to politicians and private firms planning to use the upcoming papal visit to get publicity and media mileage.

At a press briefing, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the papal visit is not the proper venue for self-promotion.

“‘Yung ibang mga naghahangad na maging prominente din ang pagkakilala sa kanila, mas mainam siguro na pumili na lang sila ng ibang okasyon,” he said.

Over the weekend, so-called “epal” tarpaulins, particularly publicity materials of a soda brand and a barangay captain using the Pope’s image, already appeared along roads in Manila.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has already vowed to track down and remove such publicity materials.

Coloma said politicians and companies should not divert the public’s attention away from the Pope during his visit to Metro Manila and Leyte from January 15 to 19.

“Mainam po na sa pagdalaw ng Santo Papa, ang pangunahing pokus at sentral na atensyon ay matutuon mismo sa Santo Papa,” he said.

Some senators already said that they plan to stay away from Pope Francis’ activities during his Philippine visit. (MNS)