The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), deep in preparations to handle the enormous volume of vehicular traffic expected this Yuletide season, has received an early Christmas present in the form of full cooperation from mall owners in Metro Manila.
Representatives from Robinsons Mall, SM Malls, Ayala Malls, Megaworld mall and Fisher Mall were amenable to the suggestions from the MMDA including the use of their security guards to assist in keeping the flow of vehicles around malls moving consistently.
The agency has agreed to train mall guards on basic principles of traffic management before implementing this scheme.
This arrangement complements the ten traffic constables the MMDA will assign at each mall during the holiday season along with one member of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
In addition, malls owners have agreed to the proposal of the MMDA to open later and close at a much later time as well to help ease the traffic during the Christmas rush.
Starting November 28, 2014 until January 3, 2015, participating malls will open at 11am and close at 11pm except on December 24 and 31 when they will only be open from 12nn to 7pm and on December 25 and January 1 when operating hours start from 12nn until 8pm only.
This way, according to the MMDA, mall hours will not affect rush hours in the morning and the evening.
Supermarkets from SM malls will still observe their current operating hours.
"For the greater good and it will not trim down the salaries of workers and also it will not decrease the earnings of the mall," said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.
The MMDA says that the volume of traffic rises 15 to 20 percent during the months of November and December.