We may still be feeling the heat of summer but the Christmas rush is around the corner and concerned government agencies are already feeling the crunch.
Like they did last year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have already requested malls in the metro to adjust their operating hours in order to reduce the effect their patrons have on vehicular traffic.
Beginning November 5 until January 14 of 2019, malls located on major roads in Metro Manila will open at 11 AM, which is an hour later than the usual 10 AM.
As per MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia, that 60-minute delay in the opening of malls will help ease the traffic in Metro Manila as mall-goers and people buying Christmas gifts contribute a great deal to vehicular congestion.
“Traffic is already bad and we expect it to get worse as the number of vehicles increases,” added Garcia.
The decision was made in consultation with members of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), mall operators, water utilities, and telecommunication companies.
Mall operators can opt to close at a much later time to compensate for the new schedule.
Other mall-specific directives include a new mall delivery time for suppliers at 11 PM to 5 AM, ‘no weekday sale’ policy, and malls have been instructed to remove all obstruction in loading/unloading stations and to deploy more security personnel to assist in traffic management.
The MMDA has also declared a moratorium on all road repairs, except for government flagship projects and/or during emergency cases during the coming holiday season.
This covers diggings along the road right-of-way and including passageways and sidewalks within the cities or municipalities of Metro Manila, installation or repairs of water pipes, telephone or telegraph wires or cable conduits, sewers and drainage systems as well as communication and power line improvements being undertaken by any government agency, public and private contractors.