The Metro Manila Development Authority on Monday started enforcing a moratorium on road repairs and diggings in Metro Manila to ease traffic and provide relief to commuters and motorists during the holiday season.
MMDA chairman Emerson Carlos said his agency came up with a 15-day 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.
Vehicular traffic has been growing worse each day because of the more than 100 ongoing road projects in Metro Manila, most of them not due for completion this year.
Based on study, the MMDA foresees 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.
The moratorium also covers concrete re-blocking projects and even repairs being conducted by utility companies on power and water lines.
Carlos said the Metro Manila Council, the agency’s policy-making body composed of the 17 local government units, passed the resolution for the moratorium.
He, however, said there would be exemptions to the moratorium including government flagship projects like Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway project and the Skyway project 3 road works that do not obstruct or block vehicular traffic.
The six-lane expressway connecting the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway will stretch 14.2 kilometers from Buendia in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City to decongest Epifanio de los Santos and other major roads, including Quezon Avenue, Araneta Avenue, Nagtahan and Quirino Avenue.
The Naia Expressway Phase 2 project from Sales Road in Pasay City to Macapagal Avenue in Parañaque City involves a 7.75-kilometer, four-lane elevated expressway and a 2.22-km feeder road to Terminals 1, 2, and 3 and link the airport to the Skyway and the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway.
MMDA Traffic Engineering Center chief Noemi Recio cited the numerous road projects being implemented by the DPWH, totaling 146 all around Metro Manila.
“If we can stop these projects, we are hopeful that traffic in the Metro Manila would not be that heavy and would somehow ease the burden of shoppers during the holidays rush,” she said.
Recio said MMDA would penalize any private contractor of local government units that would violate the moratorium.
“Aside from stopping the excavation, the MMDA will also direct the violators to patch up the diggings so that motorists could use them,” she said.
Since 2008, the MMDA annually imposes the moratorium on road repairs.