The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) started its 'Metro Alalay Semana Santa 2013' motorists assistance program for the holy week early this year. More than 1,800 of the agency's personnel has already been deployed to help keep the flow of traffic on the metro's major thoroughfares, entry and exit points as smooth as possible for the coming holy week.

The agency is working in coordination with the Philippine National Police - National Capital Region Police Office and the traffic bureaus of various local government units. The agency will be deploying majority of its personnel on roads leading to provincial bus terminals and other vital installations.

Focus of the operations will be on crucial areas and perennial traffic choke points such as Balintawak, McArthur Highway, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Sumulong Highway, Marcos Highway, Roxas Boulevard, Alabang, Pasay, and Cubao.

Likewise, the agency will also assign traffic constables along roads leading to famous pilgrimage sites such as Antipolo and Grotto at San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, and on frequently-visited churches like Sto. Domingo (Quezon City), Baclaran, San Agustin (Intramuros), and San Sebastian (Manila). 

"These contingency measures are aimed to ensure a peaceful, orderly, and meaningful celebration of Lent. We want to reduce the inconvenience experienced by the travelling public as much as possible," said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino 

MMDA has even declared a 'no day-off and no absent' policy for all its traffic personnel, particularly on March 27, 28, 31 and April 1, when traffic is expected to be congested. 

Tolentino, also announced the suspension of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the number coding scheme starting March 27 (Holy Wednesday) until April 1 (Monday). Although Makati will only suspend the said scheme only on March 28 and 29. 

The MMDA Roadside Emergency Group will likewise be on standby to provide roadside emergency service and assistance to the public.