THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be deploying more than 1,000 enforcers Monday, July 26, to ease traffic during the President Benigno Aquino III's first State of the Nation Address (Sona).

MMDA Chairman Oscar Inocentes said 400 motorcycle-riding enforcers and 600 ground personnel will be manning the traffic on all major thoroughfares as well as secondary roads surrounding the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City.

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Inocentes said the dispatch will start as early as 6 a.m. to guarantee unimpeded travel going to and from the area, especially for the public who wishes to witness the event.

“I have instructed all our enforcers to make sure that there will be no traffic obstruction on all major roads in Metro Manila, particularly those leading to the Batasan Pambansa,” the MMDA chief said.

For his part, MMDA Traffic and Transport Management Office Executive Director Angelito Vergel De Dios said the agency will also put in effect legitimate counter flows on select roads within the Batasan to decongest the expected heavy vehicular volume in the area.

“We will be putting signs on areas where counter flows will be implemented for the safety of the motorists, which is always our foremost consideration,” De Dios said.

Batasan schools suspend classes

Public schools in the vicinity of the Batasang Pambansa Complex will postpone classes Monday.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the suspension will cover Batasan Elementary School, Payatas A, B and C Elementary School, Payatas B Annex Elementary School, Bagong Silangan Elementary School and High School, Dona Juana Elementary School, Commonwealth Elementary School and High School, Commonwealth Annex, Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School, Culiat Elementary School and High School, New Era Elementary School and High School, Batasan Hills National High School, Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma High School, Holy Spirit High School and the J. F. Belmonte High School.

Private school owners in the area are also expected to make their own announcement on whether to suspend their classes or not.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said the temporary suspension would ensure the safety of students who might get caught in the planned protest actions by various civil society and cause-oriented groups.

At the same time, students would also not get caught in traffic jams due to the protests and the re-routing which will be implemented by the Quezon City local government.

Luistro said there is no reason to cancel the classes in the entire metropolis as the protest action will only be limited to several sites near the Batasan complex and Mendiola in Manila.

Makati will not suspend 'coding'

Contrary to the announcement of MMDA, the Makati City government will not suspend it number coding scheme on Monday, July 26.

Makati Public Safety Director Hermenegildo San Miguel said the decision not to lift the number coding scheme in the city was borne by the fact that the city’s traffic situation is different from other local government units in Metro Manila.

“As the financial and commercial center, there are more than 800,000 vehicles in Makati’s roads during workdays. Number coding reduces the number of vehicles by 20 percent,” San Miguel said, adding that Monday also has not been declared as a holiday.

“Lifting the number coding in Makati during a regular workday would adversely affect the traffic situation,” he added.

The Makati public safety department issued the advisory following the announcement of Malacañang that July 26 will be a regular working day.

Makati is enforcing its own coding in a bid to reduce the number of vehicles entering the Makati Central Business District (CBD) area. Under it, vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and 2 are not allowed on the city streets on Mondays, 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays, and 9 and 0 on Fridays.

On Thursday, MMDA Chairman Oscar Inocentes announced the suspension of the coding for all public and private vehicles. (AH/Sunnex)