MANILA, Philippines -- To ensure a traffic and accident-free observance of the Holy Week, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) laid down its plans and preparations under the Metro Alalay Semana Santa (MASS) 2011 that include the augmentation of the number of traffic personnel to be deployed at passenger holding areas and along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency is expecting a heavy flow of passengers bound for the provinces – both for spiritual and leisure purposes – during Holy Week.
“Thousands are expected to spend the Holy Week in the provinces. So expect heavy traffic at exit points of Metro and transport terminals,” said Tolentino, during the agency’s radio program.
Tolentino said the agency will coordinate with several agencies in coming up with a contingency plan under the MASS project.
Also, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be conducting random check on passenger buses during the expected exodus of commuters to the provinces during the Lenten break this week to avoid fatal road accidents.
But Senior Supt. Edwin Butacan spokesman of the PNP-Highway Patrol Group (HGP), was quick to clarify that such activity is not a checkpoint but merely part of the assistance of the police to the commuters.
In fact, Butacan said policemen checking on passenger buses will be accompanied by their force multipliers from barangays in doing such activities in several key points of national highways especially in Luzon.
“This is part of our measures to prevent road accidents involving passenger buses. We have been implementing this since last year and proved to be very effective,” said Butacan.
Under such policy, Butacan said HPG policemen will flag down passenger buses and later board them in order to ask the passengers if they sense something wrong with the bus or if the driver is violating some road safety rules.
Butacan said they came up with the idea since there have been cases in the past wherein passengers would only make their complaints against the bus drivers after the accident has already occurred.