Expect public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to drive in a more disciplined manner and hopefully traffic to get better within the next few weeks as the volume of vehicles increase with the Holiday season just a few months away.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) are currently including stipulations for stiffer and higher fines and penalties against PUV drivers who commit traffic violations in the creation of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10930 (RA 10930).

RA 10930 is the amendment that extends the validity of driver’s licenses to five years, renewable to a ten-year validity if the driver was not caught committing a traffic violation.

“LTO is in support of that to help impose discipline on erring drivers. I agree with the imposition of stiffer penalties as long as this would be justifiable based on our laws and policies,” said LTO chief Edgar Galvante.

The penalties include suspension of the PUV driver’s license for three months after the first offense, six months for the second offense and cancellation for the third offense.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in coordination with mall operators have agreed to reset mall hours beginning October 15, 2017 until January 15, 2018.

Mall operating hours during that time will be 11AM to 11PM in an attempt to decrease the number of vehicles on the road headed to the mall.

Deliveries to malls must also be done 11PM until 5AM the next day in order to reduce the number of trucks on major roads of the metro during rush hour.

Part of the agreement also includes moving all ‘sales’ events only on weekends.

“Let’s enjoy the coming holidays and we appeal for your patience. Planuhin ang biyahe ngayong Kapaskuhan (Plan your travels for this Christmas season),” said MMDA chief Danilo Lim.

The MMDA expects the number of vehicles passing through EDSA, which can only take 6,000 vehicles per direction, to increase from 6,800 to 7,500 during the Christmas season.