Hot spring capital braces for traffic
CALAMBA CITY, Laguna—The volume of summer vacationers in the private and public resorts here has begun to pick up, causing a heavy traffic in parts of the major thoroughfare in this city.
Mylene Pamin, radio operator of the Laguna Traffic Management Office (LTMO), said the traffic on the national road, particularly in the villages of Pansol and Bucal where most resorts are located, is expected to remain heavy until the end of summer.
“Traffic is okay Mondays through Thursdays but heavier on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays,” Pamin said.
The slow traffic in the areas started during the Holy Week break, signaling the start of the summer peak season in this city.
Pamin said the traffic on the national road’s southbound lane is heavier in the morning while traffic on the northbound lane tightens from 4 p.m. to around 11 p.m.
For instance, the normally 15-20 minute travel time from Splash Mountain Resort in Los Baños town to Halang intersection in this city (about five kilometers), takes 45 minutes during the peak season.
Halang is a major road intersection here that provides an alternate route for the private vehicles bound to Manila.
Except for Halang, there is no other route available for travelers headed to Los Baños and the remaining parts of Laguna province, but the national road.
“The (heavy) traffic is really because of the volume of vacationers,” said city police chief Supt. Joel Pernito.
Pernito and Sally dela Cruz, the village chief of Pansol, said there are around 800 private resorts and 20 public resorts in Calamba City, which is also tagged the resort capital of Laguna.
A private resort accepts up to 30 guests while a private pool caters to around 1,000 people. “Last night, we already ran out of resorts where to refer these tourists because almost all resorts were already full (of guests),” Dela Cruz said in a phone interview on Monday.
Local officials here, however, said they have everything set in place for the summer season. Pernito said since April 2, the Oplan Sumvac (Summer Vacation) has been activated to provide road assistance to motorists.
Oplan Sumvac is a yearly campaign of the police, city government, and civic organizations to deploy more traffic enforcers and emergency response teams. Police bike patrols are also deployed to do a nightly patrol in the private resorts.
In Pansol, Dela Cruz said they are conducting a daily cleanup drive to help the resort owners tidy up the place rented by tourists.
“The traffic may be a little hassle, but we can assure the tourists of the peace and order, and cleanliness in the area,” she said.