The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will mobilize more than 500 traffic enforcers at midnight tonight, eve of All Saints' Day, to provide support to the Philippine National Police (PNP), local traffic bureaus and the agency's own Traffic Enforcement Group (TEG) in maintaining order and public safety in and around cemeteries.
MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando announced that several major roads in the metropolis will be closed to traffic from midnight today up to 6 a.m. on Nov. 3.
He said authorities expect bigger crowds trooping to cemeteries tomorrow compared to those in previous years considering that President Arroyo declared only a one-day holiday, Nov. 1.
"In the past, Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 were declared non-working holidays to give way to the All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day celebration. The MMDA is doubly prepared to perform its traffic duties since only Nov. 1 was declared as official holiday. We are expecting a larger turnout, but the MMDA will be up to the task," Fernando said.
This developed as the Northern Police District Office (NPDO) yesterday started deploying hundreds of policemen in 22 public and private cemeteries located in the Camanava area - Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela - in line with the comprehensive plan laid out by the PNP to ensure a peaceful All Saints' Day commemoration.
In Manila, the city government reminded motorists and residents about the rerouting of traffic tomorrow on roads leading to the cemeteries.
At the strike of midnight tonight up to 6 a.m. of Nov. 3, the MMDA will close the following roads to traffic:
* Part of Himlayan Road leading to Himlayang Pilipino in Quezon City;
* Quirino Ave. going to Holy Cross Memorial Park and Bagbag Cemetery in Quezon City;
* Part of Bonifacio St. in Quezon City, Rizal Ave. and C-5 in Manila, Aurora St. in Caloocan City, and Blumentritt in Manila all leading to the La Loma Cemetery and Chinese Cemetery; and
* A portion of Sucat Road leading to the Manila and Loyola Memorial Parks.
Fernando said the agency has also temporarily turned Bonifacio St. to a one-way street for motorists. The street leads to Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.
The MMDA said it will set up additional directional and informative signs on critical and strategic locations to guide the public on the rerouting plans to minimize confusion.
Fernando earlier warned motorists of the noparking rule along major thoroughfares and national roads which will be strictly implemented in Metro Manila on All Saints' Day to reduce traffic.
With the mammoth crowd expected to flock to private and public cemeteries in the 17 towns and cities in Metro Manila, Fernando said the agency will drive away vendors plying their trade on sidewalks, road shoulders, parks, playgrounds and other public places.
Mayor Lito Atienza instructed the officers and men of the Manila Police District (MPD) and barangay officials to be visible in the cemeteries to assist the thousands of cemetery goers who will be paying respects to their loved ones.
Manila is the venue of four major cemeteries - the North Cemetery, South Cemetery, La Loma Cemetery and Chinese Cemetery. …