Thousands stuck in sea of vehicles as world leaders arrive for ASEAN

By Kristine Joy Patag

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Road closure along EDSA, due to the arrival of global leaders for the ASEAN Summit, led to traffic lockdown along EDSA. Photo courtesy of Tracy Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — Commuters vented their anger on the internet on Saturday afternoon as thousands got stuck in a sea of vehicles along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, including EDSA, despite the advice from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority warning about heavy traffic along major roads.

Social media users posted about being stuck in EDSA for hours due to road closures implemented by the MMDA to allow convoys carrying arriving world leaders to pass.

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Satellite rendition of real-time traffic in Manila as of 6:32 p.m. by Google Maps

"To all motorists, expect heavy traffic along EDSA and other major thoroughfares due to arrival of ASEAN Summit delegates. Please take alternate route," the MMDA said on its official twitter account.

MMDA ALERT: To all motorists, expect heavy traffic along EDSA and other major thoroughfares due to arrival of ASEAN Summit delegates. Please take alternate routes. #mmda #teamMMDA #ASEAN2017

— Official MMDA (@MMDA) November 11, 2017

On Saturday, two world leaders arrived in the country for the regional bloc's meeting and activities happening in the coming days until November 14.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen arrived via Clark International Airport at 1:39 p.m., followed by Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi whose plane landed at 2:06 p.m.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: ASEAN Summit in the Philippines

Two lanes along EDSA have been closed to give away to arriving delegates for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.

Here are how some of social media users reacted at the hour-long traffic along EDSA:

Traffic in EDSA is CHAOS with APEC closing 2 lanes. So many people stranded on the streets.

— Chris Tan (@imchristan) November 11, 2017

I made the right call not to get out of our house. I don't want to be stuck in the middle of a real-life nightmare named EDSA.

— Bryan Reyes (@iambryanreyes) November 11, 2017

Hell is here! Stuck for 3 hours #EDSA

— Charles A. (@cheezechurls) November 11, 2017

CCP Complex will be under complete lockdown starting on November 12.  Roxas Boulevard, from Padre Burgos Ave. to Buendia Ave. in Pasay City, will also be closed to traffic on November 13.

READ: Palace reminds motorists of road closures for ASEAN

As of 6:00 p.m., the lockdown on the ASEAN Lane North Bound has been opened to the public, according to MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialogo.

As of 6:00 PM: Asean Lane North Bound is now open to the public.

— Celine Pialago (@CELINEBURCE) November 11, 2017

Advisories

The Supreme Court has also reminded bar examinees to "leave earlier than usual for the 2nd Sunday of the 2017 Bar Examinations" at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday.

On its official Twitter account, the SC Public Information Office repeated its earlier advisory that 6,759 law graduates could still take the four-day exam following the non-appearance of 468 examinees last week.

The Philippine Airlines, for its part, urged its passengers to "allot more lead time to get to the airport in view of closures of certain roads leading to the airport in relation to ASEAN Summit activities."

The airline gave the advice although no flights had been cancelled yet because of the summit's activities.

More global leaders, including US President Donald Trump, are expected to arrive tomorrow.

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