MMDA asks for patience for heavy traffic during holiday rush
By C. Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, Dec. 18 (PNA) -- With the worsening traffic condition in the metropolis due to Christmas rush, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Emerson Carlos appealed to motorists to be more patient.

He attributed the bad traffic situation in major thoroughfares to the high volume of vehicles going to shopping malls and other commercial establishments located along EDSA.

The agency expects the traffic situation to get worse as Christmas draws nearer, as Carlos advised motorists that traffic will most likely be the heaviest on Dec. 18, the last Friday before Christmas, and Dec. 23 (Wednesday), the time people are expected to do last-minute Christmas shopping.

Earlier, Carlos and 15 mall operators signed a manifesto of support for adjusting mall operating hours to minimize traffic in Metro Manila during the holidays.

Both agreed to operate their respective establishments from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., starting Dec. 1, 2015 until Jan. 3, 2016.

Among those who agreed to extend their operating time include Robinsons malls, SM Malls, Ayala Malls, Shangri-La Plaza, Farmers Plaza, Gateway Mall, Greenfield Development Corp., Eastwood City, The Podium, Eton Centris and Walter Mart malls.

At present, shopping malls open at 10 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“This has been a yearly practice for us to sign this agreement in order to ease vehicular and pedestrian traffic during the holiday season,” Carlos said as he lauded the cooperation of the mall operators.

Under the same manifesto, mall owners will be coordinating with the MMDA during special events like promotions, earthquake drills and sale.

One of the mall operators said that in instances like concerts and the New Year’s countdown, malls will be closing beyond 11 p.m.

Carlos reminded the mall operators to provide MMDA with the schedule of these special events for the agency to make an adjustment of the traffic management in their respective areas.

The MMDA noted that traffic volume usually rises 15 to 20 percent between November and December. (PNA)

 © 2015