‘Campaign rallies must not cause traffic jams’

THE Commission on Elections is studying the possibility of regulating election campaign rallies and motorcades to prevent traffic jams along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, especially during rush hours.

Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Emerson Carlos asked the poll body to consider his proposal to authorize and deputize traffic enforcers to help it regulate the use of Metro Manila’s major roads during the campaign period, which will begin Tuesday.

Carlos said he had a meeting with Comelec chairman Andres Bautista and discussed the MMDA’s concern of regulating the use of major roads during the campaign period which, he said, would really affect the situation on major thoroughfares.

The MMDA chief asked Bautista “Can we regulate the use of our roads every time there are campaign rallies, motorcades and meeting de avance? Can they ask permit from our agency before holding a rally?”

The MMDA clarified that there is no plan to ban candidates from holding campaign rallies on major roads, especially along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, saying the agency just wanted to give comfort to both the motorists and to the people holding the campaign rallies.   

“We are proposing this so that we can at least make necessary announcement or advise the motorists that a rally, motorcade or meeting de avance will take place in a specific time and area,” Carlos said.

He also believed that either major or secondary roads that will be used, both will bring effect to the motorists.   

Carlos said the Comelec is now considering coming up with a resolution relative to their proposal.

He added his conversation with Bautista took place after the agreement signed by both agencies and the Department of Public Works and Highways, in which the Comelec deputized the MMDA and the DPWH to conduct “Oplan Baklas” to remove unsafe billboards and other campaign materials posted outside the common poster area.

In 2013 midterm elections, campaign rallies and motorcades were prohibited in 22 major thoroughfares in the National Capital Region. This after the Comelec en banc promulgated Resolution No. 9666 disallowing the use of major thoroughfares for election campaign.

The areas covered by the ban were the following: Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, Circumferential Road-5, Quezon Avenue, Marcos Highway, Commonwealth Avenue, España Boulevard, E. Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue, Ramon Magsaysay Avenue, President Quirino Avenue, Aurora Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard, MIA Road, Domestic Road, Andrews Avenue, South Super Highway, Taft Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, Araneta Avenue, A.H. Lacson Street, Rizal Avenue and A. Bonifacio Avenue.

Topics: Campaign rallies , traffic jams
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