By Nelson Flores, Ll.B., MSCK
THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Holy Wednesday has reactivate its “Oplan Metro Alalay Semana Santa” which aims to ensure the safety of the motorists and commuters this Lenten break.
MMDA Acting General Manager Jose Arturo “Jojo” Garcia, in a press statement, said the agency will deploy a total of 1,854 men and women, which includes traffic enforcers, roadside clearing group, anti-jaywalking, road safety and towing personnel on major thoroughfares of Metro Manila.
“While the people are out on vacation, our personnel will be in full force this Holy Week starting this Wednesday,” Garcia told reporters.
Identified areas of concern are the vicinity of bus terminals, seaports, roads leading to airports where an influx of passengers is expected; and major places of worship such as the Redemptorist Church, Quiapo Minor Basilica, Sto. Domingo Church, St. Peter Church, St. Pio Church, Las Piñas Church, Edsa Shrine, The Manila Cathedral, San Dionisio Chapel, San Pedro Church, Sta. Ana Church and the San Sebastian Minor Basilica.
Upon the orders of MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, additional traffic personnel will be fielded on areas of concern and traffic choke-point areas in the metropolis, including bus terminals, Garcia said.
He added that “there will be no let-up in the agency’s drive against illegally parked vehicles and obstructions on the road.”
Likewise, Garcia said, rescue and emergency personnel will set up posts along Ortigas Avenue and Marcos Highway and assist devotees going to the pilgrimage site in Antipolo City.
The MMDA also declared a “no day-off and no absent policy” for all traffic personnel, particularly on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, when traffic is expected to be heavy.
Meanwhile, the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) commonly known as number coding scheme will be lifted for city and provincial buses on Wednesday (March 28) and Monday (April 2) to ferry passengers going to their provinces.
“This is to augment the transportation needs of the commuters as the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit suspend their operation for the Holy Week,” said Garcia.
For private vehicles, the number coding scheme is lifted on Wednesday starting 10 in the morning.
At the same time, Garcia ordered traffic sector head managing traffic flow on Edsa to strictly enforce the yellow lane policy, located on the first two lanes from EDSA’s sidewalk designated only for public utility vehicles.
Oplan MASS is reactivated in coordination with government agencies such as Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DoTr), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the Metro Manila local government units.