MANILA — To reduce the expected traffic congestion this Christmas season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Wednesday that starting December 15, the agency will not allow road works and diggings in the metropolis.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said that moratorium on all excavations or diggings in all national and city roads starts on December 15 up to midnight of January 5, 2015.
According to Tolentino, the MMDA will be asking the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to instruct their contractors to install steel plates and cover the diggings and allow vehicular traffic to pass through for the meantime.
Even without the moratorium, the MMDA chief urged contractors to cover the diggings with steel plates so that the road could still be used by motorists.
Based on the study, MMDA is expecting a 20 percent increase in traffic volume this Christmas season because of the influx of people and vehicles from Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Central Luzon.
Earlier, Tolentino said that many of the alternate routes identified by the MMDA as “Christmas lanes” cannot be used by vehicular traffic during the holiday period because of street diggings.
In 2013, the MMDA designated 17 routes as Christmas and Mabuhay lanes to aid motorists to avoid heavy traffic during the Holiday rush.
The MMDA’s special lanes were opened last year as alternate routes to shorten the travel time of motorists during the Holidays, when traffic flow in the metropolis are expected to be heavy.
The MMDA is expecting a monstrous traffic during the Holidays because Filipinos are flocking to shopping malls and markets.
Tolentino said the MMDA would release its traffic management plan for this year’s Christmas season before the end of this month.
Tolentino also advised shoppers to do their Christmas shopping early or go shopping malls nearest to their residences so to avoid the holiday rush and the expected traffic jams especially around the big shopping malls.