MMDA defends road closure on EDSA celebration

By on February 26, 2015

MMDA Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino. Photo courtesy of MMDA's official Facebook page.
MMDA Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino. Photo courtesy of MMDA’s official Facebook page.

MANILA — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Thursday clarified that the road closure during the 29th EDSA People Power Anniversary was primarily for the security of the people.

Tolentino said that there were several attempts to disturb the celebration were they arrested an armed man at the footbridge in Ortigas also noticed was another suspicious black bag left along EDSA Shrine.

“We do not know the purpose of the people who were behind these attempts but if there were people or vehicles around, dangerous scenario may occur,” Tolentino told the reporters during the launching of the four-storey building of the newly-constructed MMFF Cinema beside the MMDA headquarters in Makati City.

Netizens slammed for road closure of the busy portion of EDSA for the commemoration of the 29th People Power revolt anniversary on Wednesday.

Many were unaware of the road closures and the MMDA’s traffic management plan.

Over the MMDA’s account in Facebook, the public expressed their outrage over the difficulties they have encountered going to work on Wednesday morning.

But Tolentino said that the rerouting plans were disseminated as early as possible.

“We have been doing it for 29 years and we already announced the rerouting since Sunday. We even have it posted of Facebook,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino also assumed that the reason for the heavy traffic during Wednesday’s celebration was due people’s understanding of the rerouting scheme.

“The people must have been caught unaware. Maybe they were not that familiar with the alternative routes,” Tolentino said.

He said that he understood the sentiments of the netizens regarding Wednesday’s heavy traffic.

Commuters suffered from the heavy traffic along EDSA from Orense to Shaw northbound Wednesday during the celebration.

The agency has announced that the road along the stretch of EDSA northbound from Shaw Boulevard to Santolan was closed for any type of vehicle for 16 hours starting from 12 midnight of Wednesday up to 4 pm.

The closure included all perpendicular roads from the east side such as the Internal Avenue, Garden Way, Julia Vargas, BANK Drive, Guadix, Poveda, Ortigas Avenue, Corinthian Subdivision Gate 2, White Plains and Santolan.

The absence of public utility buses along EDSA caused commuters to walk from Shaw Boulevard to Ortigas area while motorists going northbound had to travel along congested alternative routes.

Tolentino earlier said that a total of 1,104 of the agency’s traffic and clearing operations personnel were deployed on the critical areas along EDSA to guide the motorists to alternate routes.