Expressways, ports ready for Undas

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    Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said it is ready to handle the anticipated 10 percent surged on traffic volume in North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Manila Cavite expressway (Cavitex) this coming Undas.

    MPTC’s “Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko” (SMSK) along the NLEX, SCTEX and Cavitex will enhance traffic management and toll collection services.

    MPTC will set up 11 additional exclusive RFID (radio frequency identification) lanes at NLEX, six of which are located at Bocaue Barrier and five at Balintawak Barrier, increasing the total number of exclusive electronic toll collection lanes to 40.

    Since October 15, EasyTrip RFID drive thru reloading lanes have been opened for Class 1 or light vehicles in Balintawak and lane X06 in Bocaue, from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    On the peak periods of October 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, November 1, and 2 the Balintawak Toll Plaza will open a maximum of 24 toll collection points while Mindanao Avenue, Tarlac, and Tipo toll plazas will open a maximum of 10, 15, and 6 toll collection points, respectively to lessen motorist waiting time at the toll plazas.

    From November 1 to 4, the Bocaue Toll Barrier will have a maximum of 55 collection points for Manila-bound motorists.

    Construction on the mainline road at the NLEX-SCTEX-Cavitex will be suspended from October 24 to November 4 unless safety repairs are necessary.

    Meanwhile, the government has put all ports nationwide under heightened alert, with the anticipated influx of sea passengers brought about by the school semester break and the celebration of the All Saints’ Day.

    The heightened alert will go on until November 10, according to Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

    Jay Daniel Santiago PPA general manager said this will ensure the safety and security of all passengers at the ports and at the same time maintain order in port operations.

    The observance of the All Saint’s Day is the third biggest for PPA in terms of the surge in the volume of passengers next to Christmas and the school summer break.

    At this time, passengers in ports like Batangas, Mindoro, Bicol, Surigao, Iloilo, Dumaguete, among others, surge by more than 30 percent daily for the entire duration of the break.

    The influx of passengers is also making ports more susceptible to attacks from lawless elements particularly in areas where the threat of terror is high.