MMDA warns of Friday the 13th exodus
AUTHORITIES are warning of heavy traffic on Friday the 13th as people are expected to leave Metro Manila ahead of the four-day break for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ meeting.
During its Sunday radio program, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Emerson Carlos said that there might be heavy vehicular flow, particularly in areas near provincial bus terminals, on Nov. 13.
According to Carlos, they observed that few people went out of town on Nov. 1 and 2 since All Saints’ Day fell on a Sunday and the following day was not declared a holiday.
“We talked with the bus operators at the Araneta and Cubao terminals in Quezon City and they noted that only a few Metro Manila workers and residents headed to the provinces last week,” he said, adding that most people probably just decided to time their departure for the provinces with the four-day Apec holiday.
The government earlier suspended classes in all levels as well as work in government offices in Metro Manila between Nov. 17 and 20. Private offices, on the other hand, will be closed on Nov. 18 and 19. The suspension was aimed at easing traffic in the metropolis for the Apec meeting which would be attended by 21 world leaders, including US President Barack Obama.
Carlos said people were expected to leave Metro Manila as early as Friday this week, a payday with some employees also expected to receive their Christmas bonuses.
However, he reminded motorists that the number coding scheme would remain in effect during the Apec summit.
The MMDA has started placing plastic barriers on both sides of Edsa from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City to Mall of Asia in Pasay City to mark the two lanes that will be used exclusively by Apec delegates.
The agency earlier announced that the same stretch of Edsa would be closed to motorists for about 30 minutes every time a VIP delegate passes through the area as part of the security protocol.
Traffic personnel from the MMDA and Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group will divert affected motorists to the Mabuhay lanes, a network of alternative routes opened in time for the holiday season.
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