The country is set to host the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA) which will run from November 30 until December 11. With 11 countries participating in the upcoming sports event, there will be a myriad of athletes, government officials, as well as delegates from neighboring nations that will attend the biennial event.
However, on the opening day itself (which also happens to be Bonifacio Day, November 30th), a section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) near the Philippine Arena could be closed temporarily for 12 hours. Why? The opening ceremony of this year's SEA Games will take place at the said arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Ramon Suzara, the Chief Operating Officer of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee Foundation, said that they are currently planning out the opening ceremonies. With the amount of people that will attend the first day of the 2019 SEA Games, Suzara said that they are looking at having a portion of the expressway closed starting around 12:00 PM.
“We are doing a thorough planning of the opening ceremony. You can imagine we have an opening ceremony on November 30. Although that's a holiday, if we close NLEX for 12 hours, there will be traffic,” said Suzara.
He added that should the plans push through, motorists must travel before November 30 as the planned closure will be until 12:00 AM the following day.
For now, the organizing committee is working with the Philippine National Police (PNP) as well as the NLEX Corporation regarding the planned closure of a section of the expressway. In addition, they are also looking at ways that will help ease traffic congestion in venues where the sports events will take place. These include: Batangas, Clark, Laguna, La Union, Manila, and Tagaytay.
With NLEX itself only serving as the means of going to and from the Philippine Arena, we can only imagine the type of traffic should the organizer's plan of shutting down a section of the expressway for 12 hours. And with the Christmas Rush in full swing by then, it is bound to get worse if ever the authorities and NLEX Corporation allows it.
Source: ABS-CBN News