As early as yesterday, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino has issued a statement regarding the expected volume of traffic that will affect the North Luzon Expressway during this coming weekend of July 26-27.

This is due to the centennial celebration of Iglesia ni Cristo on July 27, 2014 that is expected to attract at least 3 million followers from all around the world.  It is estimated that they will be arriving all throughout the weekend and will be ferried by at least 10,000 buses and 2,400 vans.

The venue, which is less than a kilometer from the Bocaue Exit, is the newly built and recently inaugurated Php 8.7 billion structure known as the Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan.  Affected areas include the towns along Bocaue, Sta. Maria, Marilao and Balagtas.

Pnoy has formed ‘Task Force Sentenaryo’ composed of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima, and head of the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and INC.  The group, headed by MMDA Chairman Arthur Tolentino, is tasked to oversee the security and traffic management as well as the overall peach and order of the INC centennial celebration.

The MMDA, for their part, has also formed ‘Public Safety Legion,’ which is composed of 500 traffic enforcers from the MMDA along with three ambulances and their crew, five police cars, two dump trucks and 50 traffic enforcers from each of the 17 local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila.  They will work hand in hand with ‘Task Force Sentenaryo’ to ensure that everything is in order during this weekend.

If that’s not enough, the MMDA will also send rescue teams, mobile patrol and motorcycle units, and personnel from the Metro Parkways Clearing Group and Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group to assist in every way possible in strategic locations around the area.

Two command centers will be setup, one in Bocaue and the other in Marilao.

NLEX officials said that in case of heavy traffic flow they are prepared to open zipper or counter-flow lanes.

Joint Resolution No. 2 has been approved by the president declaring July 27 as a special non-working holiday to commemorate the 100th founding anniversary of Iglesia ni Cristo.