METRO Manila malls will open at 11 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. from October 15 to January 15, 2018 to ease traffic congestion during the Christmas season, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Friday.
Jojo Garcia, MMDA chief of staff, said the traffic scheme was expected to reduce the number of vehicles in each mall during the daily rush hour to 200.
The MMDA partnered with 16 malls which would mean 3,200 vehicles were expected to be off metro roads everyday starting October 15.
“Kapag nag-adjust ng oras ang mga malls definitely mag-aadjust ng oras ang publiko ng pagpunta at pag-alis. Kung dati pumupunta ka ng mall, umaalis ka ng 8 a.m., siguro ngayon 10 a.m. na sila aalis so yung two hours na yun malaking diperensya yun,” Garcia said.
(If the malls adjust their time, definitely the public will adjust their time of leaving their homes and going to the malls. If you used to leave your house at 8 a.m. to go to the malls, perhaps you will now leave at 10 a.m. The two-hour gap is a huge difference.)
Garcia said if sales would not be affected, the mall operators were free to inform the MMDA on Jan. 15, 2018 and the traffic plan could be made permanent.
“If you (mall operators) think wala namang nabawasan sa income niyo, e di ituloy na natin. Gawin nating 11 talga pero kung nagkaroon naman ng impact sa sales nyo sabihin nyo lang samin then let’s have a meeting after January 15,” he said.
(If you think that your income was not affected, then let’s continue the plan of opening at 11 a.m. But if there is an impact on your sales, then let’s have a meeting after Jan. 15.)
SM mall owner Bien Mateo said that malls could recover their losses if they would be allowed to operate on longer hours during weekends.
He also said that mall operators were willing to support MMDA in easing traffic in Metro Manila. JOVILAND RITA