MMDA: Avoid NLEx on July 26 to 28 due to INC event
MANILA, Philippines–The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has warned motorists to stay away from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) from July 26 to 28 due to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) centennial celebration in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“If there is no immediate need for us to travel during these dates, it will be better if we avoid [NLEx, specifically the stretch] from Balintawak in Quezon City to Dau in Pampanga,” MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said on Sunday.
Around three million INC members are expected to attend the religious group’s grand celebration on July 27 to be held at the newly inaugurated Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Tolentino, who also heads Task Force Sentenaryo formed by President Aquino to oversee the INC gathering, said that they expected members to arrive at the venue a day before the event in around 10,000 buses, 2,400 Asian utility vehicles, or AUVs, and private vehicles.
“We have already designated nine parking areas… and this will affect traffic on Mindanao Avenue and the Smart Connect Interchange which will both be used as parking lots,” he added.
Aside from these areas, some roads in Plaridel and Guiguinto towns in Bulacan will also be used for parking, he said. These streets, however, will remain passable to other vehicles since only a lane or two will be utilized.
“We have thought of distributing the parking areas to [other areas] in Bulacan to avoid clogging NLEx,” Tolentino said.
The MMDA chair told the Inquirer that he would announce the complete details of the MMDA’s preparations during the mass formation of the Metro Manila Public Safety Legion at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park on Wednesday morning.
The legion, which is composed of 2,000 traffic enforcers, rescue personnel and policemen coming from the 17 Metro Manila local government units, will be deployed to Bulacan this weekend.
Its mission, Tolentino said, was to “maintain peace and order, implement a comprehensive traffic management plan during the INC event and do a post-activity cleanup at the site.”
The MMDA has also set up two headquarters in Marilao, Bulacan, in case of emergencies.
President Aquino has declared July 27 as a special nonworking holiday for the INC’s 100th founding anniversary.
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