If you’ve been on the road recently, you will probably have noticed that traffic in the Metro seems to have gotten a lot worse as December draws closer. And no, we’re not just talking about traffic on the northbound side of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and other major roads under construction. In fact, it can be felt all over Metro Manila.

As the metro enters the full holiday season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is looking at more creative solutions to ease traffic, and that means getting the cooperation of other stakeholders. In this case: malls.

The MMDA asked mall operators to ban sales during weekdays in order to reduce congestion. Instead, of weekdays, the MMDA will ask malls to hold sales only on weekends in order to reduce traffic jams on EDSA and other major roads.

Aside from the ban on weekday mall sales, the MMDA is also looking to adjust mall hours this coming holiday season. Rather than opening at the usual 10 AM, the agency will ask mall operators to open no earlier than 11 AM. Together with the adjusted mall hours, MMDA wants to adjust the delivery of goods from 11 PM to 5 AM instead. This would reduce the number of delivery trucks on the road during rush hour.

Mall operators previously adjusted their opening hours during the 2018 holiday season and supposedly it was proven to be effective in decongesting traffic. The MMDA hopes a similar traffic scheme will work for this year’s holiday season. On top of adjusting mall hours and banning sales during weekdays, the agency is also preparing a traffic management plan for the entire Metro Manila in preparation for the influx of vehicles this Holiday season.

SM won't be too happy.