Truck ban to be implemented during Asean summit

By Emmanuel Tupas

MANILA, Philippines — A truck ban will be imposed along major thoroughfares  from Nov. 12 to 15 to ensure a smooth flow of traffic for delegates during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila.

All trucks and closed vans are barred from passing through the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)  from Clark, Pampanga to Balintawak in Quezon City, the ASEAN Commitee on Security, Peace and Order and Emergency Preparedness and Response (CSPOEPR) said yesterday.

Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy, who heads the CSPOEPR composed of 21 member agencies, said that all heavy duty vehicles are also prohibited along EDSA from Balintawak, Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati during the same period.

Emmanuel Miro of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), who heads the Technical Working Group on Traffic Management, said that truck drivers could use the stretch of McArthur Highway and C-5 Road as alternate routes.

Cuy said the public should expect intermittent traffic stops on Arnaiz Avenue, Makati Avenue, Parkway Drive and parts of EDSA in Makati City from Nov. 11 to 15 as these are designated ASEAN lanes.

Rerouting will be implemented along Sen. Jose W. Diokno Boulevard, Jalandoni, V. Sotto, Bukaneg and A. Dela Rama in Pasay City, while occasional traffic disruptions will be experienced along EDSA, Pasay Road and Makati Avenue in Makati.

The same is also expected along EDSA in Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong and Quezon City, said Cuy.

Cuy advised the public the entire Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex is closed as it has been designated as ASEAN Delegates Zone.

“We urge the public to veer away from the said areas and take alternate routes to avoid being inconvenienced by the heavy traffic while the ASEAN Summit is ongoing,” said Cuy.

Beginning 6 a.m. today, the MMDA will close some roads in Manila for the send-off ceremony of personnel involved in the 31st ASEAN Summit.   

In a traffic advisory, the MMDA said that Independence Road (from Katigbak Drive to South Drive) in Manila will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. onwards, including the right and left portions of Quirino Grandstand and Bonifacio Drive. 

P. Burgos and T.M Kalaw streets will be re-routed while the ceremony is ongoing, the MMDA said. 

“Motorists are advised to avoid passing through these roads and to take alternate routes,” it added. 

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) would implement a traffic re-routing scheme starting Nov. 6 at the port area in line with the upcoming ASEAN Summit.

The PPA said that the traffic advisory would affect operations at the Port of Manila.

Vehicles coming from R. Oca Street (Gate 4) should turn left to Delgado Street, turn left to 16th Street, then turn right to Railroad Street until they reach 15th Street (Manila Hotel).

Trucks headed for Gate 2, if they are coming from 25th Street, should turn right to Railroad Street, left to 18th Street and left to Delgado Street for them to reach Gate 2.

But if they are coming from A. Bonifacio Drive, they should turn right to Roberto Oca Street (Gate 4), turn left to Delgado Street, turn left to 16th Street, turn right to Railroad Street, turn right to 18th Street and turn left to Delgado Street to get to Gate 2. 

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said their workers expect to finish preparations along the main route and alternate routes that would be used during the ASEAN Summit by Nov. 10.

DPWH-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Melvin Navarro, along with other DPWH officials, yesterday inspected the main route and alternate route that would be used by the visiting leaders.

They checked on the condition of the main roads of EDSA, Roxas Boulevard and McArthur Highway in Valenzuela City as well as the routes leading to hotels where the ASEAN leaders would be billeted during their stay in the country and the routes to and from the airports. 

McArthur Highway in Valenzuela City serves as the boundary between Metro Manila and Central Luzon, and would be used by the ASEAN leaders when they travel from Clark, Pampanga to Metro Manila.

He also said that they would be working on the lighting in all the tunnels along EDSA including the Ayala Tunnel in Makati City.

In the event that there would be heavy rains during the three-day summit from Nov. 13-15, Navarro said they are prepared to use mobile pumps. There is also a continued cleaning of the drainage system to lessen the effects of flooding. 

Meanwhile, members of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) hit the 12-day “no-sail zone” in some parts of Manila Bay during the ASEAN Summit.

From Nov. 5 to 16, no vessel will be allowed to pass along the waters near the H2O Hotel at the Manila Ocean Park Complex in Manila up to the Okada Hotel on New Seaside Drive in Parañaque City.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will be deployed to bar approaching fishing boats and other vessels.

The group claimed that at least 100 fishing families in Bacoor City in Cavite who traditionally fish near the Okada Hotel will be affected by the no-sail zone.

“We condemn the 12-day no-sail zone. It deprives us of our right to our usual fishing grounds for almost two weeks, only to provide blanket security to the ASEAN delegates that the Filipino fishermen have nothing to gain for in the first place. A 12-day no-sail zone is 12 days of starvation for small fishermen like us,” said PAMALAKAYA national chairman Fernando Hicap, who is also a fisherman in Manila Bay.  – With Robertzon Ramirez, Evelyn Macairan, Rhodina Villanueva

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