MANILA, Philippines?Motorists should expect an increase in traffic volumes on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) of as much as 20 percent next week as Metro Manila residents flock to their home provinces for the Holy Week break.
But the operator of both toll roads said congestion is expected to peak on Holy Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, when people go out of Manila, and on Easter Sunday, when they are expected to return.
?More motorists are expected to go to the provinces during this time of year because of the long break,? said Ramon Fernandez, president and CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).
MPTC unit Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), which through its subsidiaries operates both toll roads, advised motorists to avoid these peak hours or risk getting stuck in traffic, especially near toll booths.
And based on the trend in the last five years, both highways will be nearly empty on Good Friday and Black Saturday, officials said.
The company expects traffic to go up by 15 to 20 percent from the average of 160,000 vehicles that pass through NLEx on regular days. About 24,000 vehicles use the SCTEx daily, the company said.
The same rate of increase is expected on the SCTEx as well, Fernandez said.
?In preparation, NLEx toll operations will beef up its manpower during the said dates,? Fernandez said. He said ambulant tellers will be deployed to speed up the payment of fees at toll plazas.
Spare lanes will also be opened up to shorten the queue of vehicles at the Dau, Angeles and Bocaue exits.
MNTC said it would ensure that motorists do not go over the speed limits and swerve from lane to lane, putting other vehicles? safety at risk.
Temporary toll service facilities would also be put up to provide first-aid, basic mechanical and towing services for motorists.
MPTC is a subsidiary of Manuel V. Pangilinan-chaired Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the local unit of Hong Kong?s First Pacific Co. Ltd.