MMDA, mall operators meet to avoid traffic woes in the holidays

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — Halfway through the first "ber" month, authorities try to ease the traffic when the holiday season comes.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) met with mall operators on Friday to discuss possible adjustments to prevent crowded malls and heavy traffic, as has been done in the past years.

One strategy is to avoid weekday sales, especially on a Friday, starting in November.

"Alam naman natin pag Friday, lalo na pag payday Friday, grabe ang traffic. Yun nga pong walang sale sa mga malls natin nata-traffic na tayo so nakiusap kami kung pwede Saturday, Sunday muna ang sale," MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning Jojo Garcia said.

[Translation: We are all aware that there is heavy traffic every Friday, especially during payday Friday. We experience it even without mall sales, so we appealed to mall operators to have their sales during weekends.]

In January, the MMDA extended its no weekday mall-wide sale for the entire 2017, after mall owners recognized the effectivity of the policy.

READ: MMDA: No weekday mall-wide sale for 2017

The MMDA also proposed to move mall hours to 11 a.m. up to 11 p.m. from  the current 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Other than these, the MMDA also suggested to improve the flow of cars in mall parking lots to prevent vehicles from overflowing into public roads. Mall deliveries can also be done between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to avoid rush hour.

Mall operators are receptive to the suggestions.

"We always have viewed the MMDA as a stalwart partner of the SM Supermalls … At the end of the day we view these measures as something that will alleviate traffic and will help the public," SM Supermalls Assistant Vice President for Operations Perkin So said.