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November 5, 2015

MMDA, HPG All Set for Traffic Measures during APEC Summit

     The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now conducting simulations of traffic scenarios and conditions of routes to be use by the heads of states attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Philippines on November 17 to November 20.
     MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos said that the agency’s personnel have already placed thousands of plastic barriers and cones along the stretch of Edsa and Roxas Blvd. in preparation for the APEC event.
     “Now, sa tulong nga po ng APEC National Organizing Committee and Committee on Peace and Order and Emergency Preparedness which MMDA and PNP-HPG (Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group) is a member, we are ready for the APEC,” Carlos told a media briefing right after the meeting with Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and HPG head, Chief Superintendent Arnold Gunnacao regarding APEC preparations.
     The meeting on Wednesday at the MMDA main office in Makati City was also attended by officials of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and Department of Transportation and Communication and traffic bureau heads of the different local government units.
     During the media briefing, Carlos also reiterated that stretch of Roxas Boulevard on both directions will be totally closed to traffic as early as November 16 until November 20.
     “Roxas Boulevard would be closed on both directions from Manila Hotel to NAIA Road,” he said.

     Though Malacanang has declared the APEC duration as non-working days, Carlos said there are still some employees of companies especially business processing outsourcing firms who continue to report for work.
     “Traffic will still be a concern kahit walang pasok yung mga students, walang government work… because private sector is still there. May mga company siguro na mag-bo-voluntarily mag close shop… Meron din naman sigurong mga empleyado na talagang they’ll take the whole week off for a much needed vacation…Most probably ang sinasabi naming reason is baka sine-save nila yung kanilang bakasyon dahil sa short weekend for November 1 . Most probably kinakarga nila ito for the APEC long vacation,” Carlos said.
     During the APEC summit, the two inner lanes of Edsa stretching from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City all the way to Mall of Asia in Pasay City will be exclusive for the use of APEC delegates.
     For his part, Almendras renewed his appeal to the public for understanding for some inconveniences during the APEC summit.
     “They (APEC delegates) have their own protocols … they are used to a certain amount of security and leniency and flexibility. Thereby that protocol is something we have to give to them when they come here… I have been saying to media in all of my interviews, our APEC lanes to be used by delegates along Edsa but when a very important person is passing through, there will be absolute closures,” he said.
     “I am appealing to all the motorists, all the people .We are hosting a very big event. So many important people that we need to make sure are going to be safe and can move around normally in a way they are able to move. So we really like to appeal, if you don’t really have to do anything absolutely urgent in these areas, then ‘wag na lang po…although some streets will be opened but pag may movement po magsasara,” Almendras said.
     Such total road closures will last at least 30 minutes, he added.



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