Xi Jinping visit triggers hellish traffic

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2018 06:39 PM | Updated as of Nov 21 2018 08:43 PM

Chinese flags wave with Philippine flags along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Nov. 19, ahead of Chinese president Xi Jinping's state visit in the country. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Motorists and commuters took to social media to complain about the traffic jams caused by road closures and rerouting during the 2-day state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Some roads were closed during the Chinese leader's visit which began Tuesday and ended Wednesday.

People were forced to walk on the Skyway on Tuesday due to heavy traffic during the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Rex Varona

Among those who voiced their displeasure was Rex Varona who posted photos of people forced to walk on the Skyway to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to the gridlock.

“Kilometric line of cars stuck at the Skyway on way to NAIA because the expressway was unceremoniously locked down ‘so that the Chinese President Xi can pass,’” Varona said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

"Many passengers forced to walk, luggage and all, along the Skyway hoping to catch their flights. Sacrifice the welfare of thousands, for the convenience of one,” he added.

People were forced to walk on the Skyway on Tuesday due to heavy traffic during the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Rex Varona

Varona insisted that no traffic advisories were released on the closure of the Skyway during the Chinese leader's arrival.

In another social media post, netizen Juan Pablo complained that traffic lasted until midnight in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig where Xi was staying.

Xi arrived in Manila on Tuesday morning and stayed at the Shangri-la at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City. He left on Wednesday afternoon after forging 29 deals between the Philippines and China.

The Presidential Security Group on Wednesday meanwhile appealed for understanding from those who were affected by the heavy traffic and road closures.

"In connection with the visit, we appeal to the understanding of those who may have been affected," Captain Zeerah Blanche Lucrecia said in a statement.

The PSG added that while it sought the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) over preparations for the route security of the Chinese leader, the implementation was left to the 2 other agencies.

"As to its implementation and how they accomplish such task, its their call and would involve their concept of operations, to ensure that the designated route/s is/are secured," the PSG said of the MMDA and PNP.

As to Xi and the Chinese delegation, the PSG maintained that it "provided the necessary hospitality and security to ensure the smooth flow of their movement."