MANILA - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reiterated its appeal to motorists to help free up EDSA northbound on Saturday afternoon to allow the smooth travel of convoys transporting delegates to the 30th Southeast Asian Games opening ceremonies at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
"Block time lang kung puwede po ilibre natin as much as possible 'yung northbound ng EDSA. Kung hindi naman importante, kung gusto niyong mag-mall, go ahead of the block time para hindi sasabay sa convoy," said MMDA's EDSA Traffic Chief Bong Nebrija.
(If possible, let's free up EDSA northbound in that block time. If your plans are not that important, if you want to go to the mall, go ahead of the block time so you won't go at the same time as the convoy.)
Speaking to DZMM radio, Nebrija said they would enforce the block time from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday as they expect the first convoys to pass EDSA northbound around noon.
He urged those going to the malls along EDSA to use alternate routes or the Mabuhay Lanes, and if possible, take public transportation instead.
"Let's do our share in this opening ceremony, 'wag na po tayong sumabay sa mga convoy, kung puwede mag public commute po tayo, Sabado naman po," he said.
(Let's do our share in this opening ceremony, let's not go out at the same time as the convoy, if possible take public commute, it's a Saturday anyway.)
The number coding is suspended on weekends, and traffic on EDSA on Saturdays is usually heavy.
The MMDA official said they added 95 personnel from the Traffic Enforcement District who would be tasked to man the yellow lane, the side of the road reserved for public buses.
The SEA Games convoys are expected to use the same lane. Nebrija said buses would continue to be allowed to use the lane but would be asked to give way to passing delegates' vehicles.
MMDA personnel will be deployed southbound after the opening ceremonies to assist convoys and motorists who will be coming back to Manila from Bulacan.
"Na-rehearse naman namin 'yan, nakita na namin ang pagkukulang, nagkaroon na kami ng adjustment so talagang execution time na tayo," he said.
(We have rehearsed this, we saw the shortcomings, we've made adjustments so now it's execution time.)
He assured the public that the MMDA have prepared for the worst traffic scenario in relation to the SEA Games opening.
"We will be ready," he said.