• MMDA sets 3-day truck ban for INC centennial

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    IN a move to ease traffic in connection with the centennial celebration of the influential religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be implementing a three-day truck ban.

    The INC will mark its 100 years on July 28, Monday.

    Task Force Sentenaryo, a high-level group formed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, on Friday announced that all necessary traffic and security measures have been firmed up to ensure peaceful and orderly commemoration of the INC’s centennial celebration, which is expected to be attended by up to three million church members.

    Francis Tolentino, MMDA chairman and task force head, said they expect the INC members to arrive at the newly inaugurated Philippine Are–na—site of the celebration in Bocaue, Bulacan province—a day before the event in at least 10,000 buses, 2,400 vans and Asian Utility Vehicles and private vehicles.

    The truck ban, according to the MMDA, will begin on Saturday along North Lu-zon Expressway (NLEX) that covers Bulacan and Pampan- ga province.

    In an advisory, Task Force Sentenaryo said all trucks for hire will not be allowed to pass through NLEX from Balintawak Tollgate to Angeles City Exit in Pampanga and through the exit to the tollgate.

    Other roads covered by the ban are MacArthur Highway, Cagayan Valley Road from Santa Rita Exit and all provincial roads in Bulacan that will be used as parking areas.

    The MMDA, however, said trucks carrying perishable goods and food items are exempted from the ban.

    To provide motorists the latest traffic reports on roads ahead of the INC anniversary celebration, it has launched a mobile application.

    Called “INC Sentenaryo App,” the Android app contains useful information such as traffic updates, emergency assistance hotlines and road–maps to guide motorists and commuters on what routes to take and avoid expected traffic congestion around the Phi–lippine Arena.

    “This handy app is particularly helpful in providing the latest traffic situational reports along NLEX and all roads leading to and adjacent to the INC gathering,” Tolentino said.

    The “INC Sentenaryo App” also covers Bocaue and three other Bulacan towns— Ca–lumpit, Plaridel and Santa Maria—and major roads in Metro Manila like Edsa, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon Avenue, España, C5, Ortigas, Marcos Highway, Roxas Boulevard and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

    Tolentino said the traffic app also contains up-to-date im–portant announcements and advisories from the task force member-agencies and the police and on vehicular accidents and road closures that may worsen traffic jams leading to the Philippine Arena.

    “With this mobile app, travelers can now easily plan their trips and choose which streets to take and avoid, thus, saving precious time and avoiding unnecessary inconvenience,” he added.

    Designated as parking areas during the INC centennial celebration were Santa Maria bypass and Balagtas bypass along MacArthur Highway from Monumento in Caloocan City to Calumpit.

    A portion of the Mindanao Avenue Extension will also be closed for parking purposes.

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