MANILA -- To ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila with the onset of the holiday season, mall operations will start from 11 AM to 11 PM effective October 15, 2017 to January 15, 2018.

This was agreed upon in a meeting of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) with mall operators Friday at its main office in Makati City.

Deliveries will also be conducted from 11 PM until 5 AM next day to reduce the number of delivery trucks traversing the major thoroughfares of the metropolis during rush hour.

“Perishable goods are exempted. It should not be compromised,” said MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning Jojo Garcia.

Mall owners have likewise agreed that their mall sales will be conducted only on weekends. 

For his part, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim appealed to the public to start their holiday shopping early as he explained that the measures aim at easing the traffic situation in the metropolis.

“Let’s enjoy the coming holidays and we appeal for your patience. Planuhin ang biyahe ngayong Kapaskuhan (Plan your travels for this Christmas season),” according to the MMDA chief.

MMDA is eyeing to reduce more than 3,000 vehicles heading to the malls during morning rush hour along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

There are 25 shopping malls on major roads in Metro Manila, 16 are located along EDSA alone. Major traffic contributors are located in Quezon City Central Business District, Makati Central Business District, and Pasig Central Business District. 

The agency has earlier stated that the number of vehicles passing through EDSA is to increase from 6,800 vehicles per direction to 7,500 vehicles as the Christmas season draws near.

EDSA can only accommodate up to 6,000 vehicles per direction according to the MMDA. (PNA)