Palace on traffic jams: More patience, please
Malacañang on Saturday said it was aware of the traffic jams in Metro Manila, some of which were so bad, such as last Friday, that travelers missed their scheduled flights.
“We did receive reports that a big number of people were not able to make their flights,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over government-run Radyo ng Bayan.
The bulk of the complaints came from motorists who were stuck for several hours at the South Superhighway and Villamor Air Base in Pasay City leading to the four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
Valte said infrastructure work was being done in these areas.
“Again, we continue to appeal for everyone’s patience and we are continually [reiterating] the appeal of airport authorities to adjust our times accordingly for our travel to afford us ample time to get to the airport, considering the expected heavy volume of traffic because of the construction that is being done in that area,” Valte said.
She added that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local governments “will continue to deploy enforcers to help ease the heavy traffic.”
Traffic came to a virtual standstill last Friday for at least eight hours. This was aggravated by the fact that it was pay day and people were flocking to malls and restaurants.
The traffic jam near the Naia was blamed on the ongoing construction of the Skyway extension project.
The past weeks have seen worsening traffic gridlock in Metro Manila, particularly on major thoroughfares such as Edsa and C-5 Road.
Since last year, the Palace has repeatedly been apologizing to the public for the traffic jams caused by road work and asked both motorists and commuters to be patient.
As this developed, the spokesperson for the country’s flag carrier advised airline passengers to give themselves enough lead time to catch their flights in the wake of the heavy traffic on the roads leading to the four Naia terminals.
“Due to the heavy traffic in the metropolis, we are advising passengers to give themselves enough lead time to make it to the airport to check in for their flights,” Cielito Villaluna, Philippine Airlines spokesperson, said in a statement.
A source in the airline confirmed that some passengers missed their flights last Friday.
“But they could have missed their flights for other reasons like personal ones. Them missing their flights may not be directly attributed to the traffic,” the source said.
Traffic in Metro Manila and its environs has worsened in the last few years due to the lack of infrastructure and discipline and education among drivers. With a report from Kristine Felisse Mangunay
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