The Metro Manila Development Authority will start implementing today (Nov. 1) a moratorium on road repairs and diggings in the metropolis to ease traffic congestion and provide relief to commuters and motorists during the Christmas season.
MMDA assistant general manager for planning Jose Arturo Garcia Jr. said the agency came up with a 3-month long moratorium in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways in anticipation of a monstrous traffic during the holidays because Filipinos are flocking to shopping malls and markets.
Garcia said the MMDA, in close coordination with the Metro Manila Council, the agency’s governing board and policy-making body, issued a memorandum circular temporarily suspending roadworks including diggings and repairs in Metro Manila starting midnight of November 1 to January 15, 2018.
He added that the moratorium also covers the DPWH concrete re-blocking projects and even repairs being conducted by utility companies on power and water lines, emergency leak repairs of water concessionaires, and construction of flood interceptors.
Garcia said during a dialogue held at the MMDA’s main office in Makati City, “we asked the DPWH, telcos, Maynilad and water utilities to stop their road works temporarily. Covered by the moratorium are major and city roads constructions.”
However, according to Garcia, government flagship projects like the Skyway project 3 along South Superhighway in Makati City are exempted from the suspension.
“Of course there will be exemptions and we have some guidelines on government flagship projects,” he added.
To make traffic flow more manageable, the MMDA coordinated with other government agencies and other concerned groups to ensure that the roadways are free from obstructions and serviceable to vehicles and pedestrians during the peak buying season.
Based on a study, the MMDA expects 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.
Even without the moratorium, the MMDA urged contractors to cover the diggings with steel plates so that the road could still be used by motorists.
The MMDA is imposing numerous measures in the National Capital Region in line with the government program to ease traffic in the metropolis, especially on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue where at least 16 shopping malls are located.
Aside from the moratorium on road diggings, the agency also imposes no delivery of goods during daytime, no mall sales and other crowd-drawing events during weekdays, and the adjusted mall operating hours from the usual 10 am to 9 pm to 11 am to 11 pm.
The commercial establishments located along EDSA are traffic generators during the Christmas holidays.
Since 2008, the MMDA annually imposes the moratorium on road repairs.