• Commuters endure long walk

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    ROAD TO PERDITION Motorists and commuters are caught in traffic after authorities implemented a lockdown at the Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) near the venue of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.

    ROAD TO PERDITION Motorists and commuters are caught in traffic after authorities implemented a lockdown at the Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) near the venue of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.

    Walking under the mid-morning  sun is a torment. Thousands of commuters found themselves doing this just to get to work and school on an indeed manic Monday.

    In a bid to give delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit traffic-free shuttling in Manila, authorities closed several roads that virtually locked down Manila-bound traffic from the southern end of the nation’s capital.

    Manila-bound vehicles from Cavite via the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex), popularly known as Costal Road, piled up as authorities closed the intersection at MIA Road in Parañaque City. Vehicles were diverted to Pacific Drive instead of being allowed to cross the intersection.

    Because of the gridlock, commuters were forced to walk to their destinations. Some commuters coming from Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa City and Cavite City were left with no other choice but to get off from whatever they may have been riding and walk a 10-kilometer stretch from the Cavitex toll gate to Epifanio delos Santos Avenue.

    The nightmare was aggravated when the Metro Rail Transit 3 suffered a technical glitch during the rush hour.

    Junner Bucod, 36, an IT specialist,  usually travels two to three

    But on Monday, his two and a half hour commute was only good up to the Coastal Mall Metro Bus Station.

    Notwithstanding the APEC traffic advisories in the previous weeks, he said he did not expect that the Coastal Road would be paralyzed.

    “This is so inhumane. Why do they have to close the whole Coastal Road where thousands of workers are passing through every day?” Bucod asked.

    He said, “They said APEC will provide us opportunities. But how will they address the people who are losing their jobs because of traffic? It doesn’t make any sense.”

    Bucod chided the APEC organizers for not considering the commuters in their planning.
    As much as he wanted to go home, the bus station was already packed with fuming people who are on queues for a bus going back to Cavite.

    While many are decrying the supposedly  “unexpected and ineffective” traffic rerouting, 64-year-old Elenita Tomagos had a different sentiment.

    From Imus, Cavite, she traveled just to watch a movie in a mall in Manila. Despite enduring the long walk and even urinating on the street, she said she completely understands the situation.

    “Eh, wala tayong magagawa. Mga bisita iyan eh [We have no choice. We have to accommodate our visitors],” she said, smiling. “Kailangan masaya lang tayo kasi kung hindi, ay wala [There is nothing else to do but to be happy].”

    Vicky Ugalino, who works at Pasay City Police Clearance Department and resides in Imus, said she was forced to go home because of the traffic gridlock.

    She said Malacañang should have also declared November 16 and 17 as non-working holidays to prevent inconveniences.

    The Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated its advice to public to just stay at home for the duration of the week-long event.

    “We advise them to stay home and spare themselves the trouble of being caught in heavy traffic, or adding to the road congestion in the next four days,” Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, spokesman for the PNP and 2015 APEC Security Task Force, said.

    He added that heavier traffic is expected on the following days along parts of EDSA, Roxas
    Boulevard, Skyway and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and roads along the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), where the APEC delegates will pass through.

    Among other major thoroughfares that had moderate to heavy  traffic on Monday were EDSA Extension, C-5 Road, South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Skyway.

    Commuters on Aguinaldo Highway in Cavite also had a hard time to get a ride because the public utility vehicles were left stranded on their way to Metro Manila.

    Traffic is expected to become heavier with the arrival of more APEC delegates.

    The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said authorities will impose a “stop and go” scheme in some major thoroughfares.

    Among these are parts of  EDSA, Roxas Boulevard, Skyway and SLEX.

    Under the scheme, all traffic in these areas will be temporarily stopped to allow APEC convoys to pass through.

    MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos earlier said the “stop and go” scheme aims to speed up the shuttling of APEC delegates to the summit.

    According to the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group, the scheme would be implemented until the last day of the summit on Friday.

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    9 Comments

    1. Yes, they are dignitaries. Yes, they are impt people in the world. But we are impt too. We pay taxes. Taxes that financed this event. The govt should have situated this event somewhere else where we wont be in this kind of a mess. They could have gone to Subic, for example. We have lost a lot of time and our pay for the day. A very terrible decision was made here by holding this event at the heart of Manila.

    2. They are dignitaries world leaders presidents,prime ministers,wait until one day you will become one then you will deserve such attention.

    3. Somebody must be responsible for this mess. How come people like us do not have a voice to stop this stupidity. Let us not vote on the administration candidates. They are responsible. Let us show that we are the Boss. The government must do their best for the Boss. Let us be One to stop these people who is taking advantage in our weaknesses.

    4. I am expecting a lot of bad-mouthing for the traffic caused by APEC. But, where’s the same trolls that bad-mouthed the INC for the traffic caused by their rally?

    5. Wow, there’s less “hate” comments about APEC causing heavy traffic, compared to the INC’s rally

    6. This is a very stupid organization. The government knew about the difficulties APEC will add when hold in NCR. Standing traffic, canceled flights, no classes … Why they don’t choose Subic or Clark? There are also airports and sure there are also facilities where they can have their meeting.

    7. This is the government at it’s finest. They don’t care about the people. Remember elections are just around the corner.