MMDA to manage gridlocked roads near Manila ports

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will take over traffic management of roads affected by the gridlock triggered by congestion in the ports of Manila.

In a press release on Sunday, September 7, the MMDA said it held an emergency meeting with local officials, and "Task Force Pantalan" was formed to address the worsening traffic problem.

It will be headed by Gen Allen Bartolo of the Highway Patrol Group, with MMDA traffic head Crisanto Saruca as deputy and local government representatives as members.

The MMDA will also take over traffic management of all roads in several parts of Metro Manila affected by the port traffic until September 21.

Effective immediately, all Class A and D vehicles, including shuttle buses, will be allowed to counterflow in the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

The counterflow traffic scheme will also be allowed at Del Pan Bridge in Tondo, Manila.

Meanwhile, the Balintawak toll plaza will be temporarily closed to give way to private vehicles.

Two lanes along R-10 road spanning the cities of Navotas, Caloocan and Manila will also be opened to trucks.

The high volume of cargo trucks in the port of Manila has caused heavy traffic in areas around the NLEX, prompting authorities to implement new measures such as counterflow schemes to ease the traffic situation.

In a press briefing, Palace Communications secretary Herminio Coloma Jr also said that starting September 8, overstaying cargo containers in the Port of Manila will be moved to Subic Port. 

Starting October 1, a fine of P5,000 will be imposed for every day overstaying containers remain at the port. Rappler.com