Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By Krixia Subingsubi­ng @krixiasinq

Anticipati­ng an increase in the number of shoppers and vehicles during the Christmas season, the Metropolit­an Manila Developmen­t Authority (MMDA) said on Tuesday that it had directed mall owners in the metropolis to move their opening hour to 11 a.m. on weekdays starting on Nov. 11.

MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia told reporters that the move would immediatel­y remove around 200,000 mall employees and 3,000 cars—half of the average hourly traffic—from the streets during the morning rush hour (8 to 9 a.m.)

The policy covers the more than 100 malls across Metro Manila. Previously, it applied only to the shopping establishm­ents on Edsa.

“Our goal is to give the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. employees a headstart to help move people,” Garcia said.

Mall owners were also told not to hold sales on weekdays and to bar “colorum” public utility vehicles from using their terminals to pick up or drop off passengers.

However, Garcia said he would not stop the Department of Public Works and Highways should it order the shutdown of major roads and highways during the holidays.

The MMDA earlier projected that around 20,000 vehicles would be added to the number traversing Edsa by December, placing the average daily traffic at around 420,000 cars.

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