(Metro News) MMDA finalizes ‘Metro Alalay Semana Santa 2011’

April 12, 2011 1:35 am 

MANILA, April 11 — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday said it is finalizing its contingency plans for the coming Holy Week or “Semana Santa”, in coordination with other government agencies and civic organizations to ensure a hassle- and accident-free travel for the public.

Under the contingency plan, dubbed the Metro Alalay Semana Santa (MASS) 2011, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, said the agency will field a number of its traffic enforcers and road emergency personnel to transport terminals, exit points and off-road stations in Metro Manila to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and people trekking to the provinces this Holy Week.

“We will coordinate with officials of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) so that there will be an alignment of our traffic management plans,” Tolentino said.

The MMDA chief said the agency’s enforcers and quick response groups will be assembled and assigned to man traffic in bus terminals in Cubao, Quezon City and Pasay City, all along Edsa, Manila and other exit points leading to provincial highways such as the NLEX and SLEX.

He likewise appealed to the management of NLEX and SLEX to deploy additional personnel to collect toll fees during rush hours to avoid traffic congestion.

“The agency shall seek assistance from the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in managing critical areas and choke points and at the same time increase police visibility and avert acts of terrorism,” he added.

At the same time, he stressed that the “nose in nose out” policy on bus terminals will be strictly enforced, thereby prohibiting bus drivers to maneuver their vehicles along Edsa. Also, they are not allowed to load and unload outside their respective terminals.

The agency’s Roadside Emergency Group will also be on standby to provide roadside emergency service and assistance to the public.

The agency’s Traffic Operations Centers will also monitor traffic conditions around-the-clock and dispatch any assistance — heavy vehicles, tow trucks and ambulances — to any accident or distress calls.

Tolentino also warned operators of “colorum” vehicles as the traffic enforcers will also be on the lookout for out-of-line vehicles and illegal terminals.

These contingency plans, the official said form part of the inter-agency (DOTC, LTFRB, LTO, Coast Guard, PNP and AFP) effort to ensure the safe and orderly exodus of people going to the provinces – both for spiritual and leisure purposes. (PNA) DCT/FFC/CLTC

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