Heavy traffic seen in Metro Manila until tonight
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Motorists are advised to brace for heavy traffic in Metro Manila more today.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) projected traffic to be heaviest yesterday, Crisanto Saruca, Traffic Discipline Office (TDO) chief, said. 

“We advised that on Dec. 23, traffic is expected to be worst because of last-minute shopping, full bus terminals and late Christmas parties,” he said in Filipino. “Tomorrow (Christmas Eve) people are expected to be in the provinces. No more movement of people (in the metro).” 

Saruca said some 2,400 traffic enforcers deployed across the metro to supervise traffic on EDSA and other major roads are simply not enough.

The MMDA needs additional traffic enforcers on the metro’s main roads, he said.

Secondary roads are not under the MMDA’s jurisdiction. They are manned by traffic management personnel of the various local governments.

“So eventually personnel must be augmented,” he said. “That’s why on secondary roads, local traffic enforcers are in charge.” 

Traffic enforcers work in three shifts and they are on the streets until early morning, Saruca said.

“But deployment is thin early in the morning because of few travelers on the streets.”

Vice presidential aspirant Sen. Francis Escudero had asked the MMDA to field traffic enforcers in other major roads in Metro Manila aside from EDSA as traffic is expected to be heavy over the holidays.

He made the proposal after noting that lack of traffic enforcers manning other major roads caused humongous traffic last week.

“We have put so much attention on trying to fix the traffic on EDSA and it seems that traffic elsewhere has been overlooked, just like last Friday when I received many text and social media messages about the absence of MMDA traffic enforcers on major national Metro Manila roads,” he said.

Escudero said the MMDA is expected to be better prepared in managing traffic in other major intersections in the coming days, especially when the Christmas rush is anticipated to peak today because of residents’ exodus to the provinces.

He also proposed that for the remaining days before Christmas, the MMDA extend the working hours of its traffic enforcers or create a temporary rotation scheme where major intersections could be manned from morning until 10 p.m.

Saruca said that they have orders to always be visible on roads. However, they may not be that visible, especially on EDSA, because of the enforcers’ small number, he added.

ACIRC CHRISTMAS EVE CRISANTO SARUCA ENFORCERS FRANCIS ESCUDERO METRO MANILA METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY MMDA ROADS SARUCA TRAFFIC
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