Thousands of commuters and motorists on Tuesday morning were surprised as they experienced traffic congestion along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City where parts of the road were closed to give way to an evangelical medical mission of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ).
Some commuters decided to walk along the road after having a hard time getting public utility vehicles to bring them to their respective workplaces.
According to some, they were not advised about the event that began at 11 a.m. of Tuesday and is scheduled to end at 12 midnight of Wednesday.
As early as 12 midnight on Monday, the INC started setting up tents along Commonwealth Avenue from Sandiganbayan to Litex.
The Metro Manila Development Authority earlier announced all public vehicles will be given two lanes so they can pick up and drop off commuters along the avenue.
The whole day medical-dental mission called “Lingap sa Mamamayan” is aimed at providing assistance both to INC members and non-INC members.
It is to be followed by the “Lingap-Pamamahayag ng mga Salita ng Diyos.”
According to Eagle News, the INC-based media network, the religious group gave out 10,000 pairs of shoes and 10,000 pieces of clothes, aside from delivering free medical and dental services like blood and urine examination, pregnancy test, ultrasound, chest X-ray, ECG and circumcision.
INC spokesman Edwil Zabala also on Tuesday apologized for the traffic jam they have caused.
“For those affected, I can only offer my sincere apology,” Zabala said.
He added that there were no available places around the area that they could use as venues for their outreach program.