Metro Manila authorities preparing for holiday rush

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 5) The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are preparing for the holiday rush, by managing traffic well and ensuring security.

The MMDA on Tuesday said it needs 300 more traffic enforcers this December.

"We will hire an additional 300 enforcers, and they will be placed all over Metro Manila," MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago told CNN Philippines' The Source.

She said their personnel will be watching bus terminals, strictly enforcing the use of the yellow lanes for buses and UV express vans and the motorcycle lanes on EDSA, Commonwealth, and C-5.

Pialago said those who would like to apply should be 18 to 30 years old, physically fit, and with at least two years of college under their belt. Those interested can inquire at the MMDA office.

 

The MMDA said traffic volume is expected to increase by 20 to 25 percent during the holiday season.

The dense capital is estimated to have about 2.4 million vehicles, with the major highway EDSA holding 1,000 more than its original carrying capacity per lane every hour this December.

The call comes after the agency is said to have fired some officers for instances of corruption, with some being reported to take bribes from traffic violators.

Pialago urged those on the road to catch evidence in case they are flagged by an enforcer who violates protocol.

"So ang panawagan ho namin doon sa motorista, make sure may photo, or video... Lahat po ng mga may supported na ebidensya, inalis na po sa service," she said.

(Translation: Our appeal to motorists is, make sure you have photo or video... For cases [of enforcers with violations] with supporting evidence, they have been removed from service.)

Holiday security

To also keep the peace over the holidays, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is deploying about 10,000 officers across Metro Manila.

They will form part of the highway patrol group that will monitor the roads, and marshals who will board public utility vehicles to make sure the passengers  are safe, PNP Spokesperson Dionardo Carlos told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"We will be establishing police assistance desks in terminals, in malls... [and in] pasyalan -- tourist spots," he added.

Carlos gave additional safety tips for the season, including securing cash and wallets in front pockets instead of back pockets, noting down license plate numbers of taxis, and keeping security lighting around the house to prevent robbery.