PNP CHRISTMAS PARTY AT CAMP CRAME CAUSED EDSA TRAFFIC BEYOND BELIEF

MANILA, December 20, 2003  (STAR) By Nikko Dizon - It was a Christmas party that brought joy to some and misery to most others.

The preparations of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for its party in Camp Crame in Quezon City caused heavy traffic on the northbound lane of EDSA almost the entire day yesterday.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Metrobase reported that as of noon, the tailend of the crawling traffic had reached Nichols in the South Superhighway.

"Callers have been cursing us for the traffic," China Salinas, Metrobase team leader, told The STAR.

The MMDA, Salinas said, did not receive any advisory from the PNP that it would be holding a Christmas party to allow the agency to plan alternative routes.

The MMDA gathered that the checkpoint at the Camp Crame entrance caused the traffic snarl.

Salinas explained that the queue of vehicles bound for Crame blocked the Uturn slot under the Santolan flyover. Public utility buses (PUBs) aggravated the situation as they waited for passengers on the service road.

Ironically, Salinas said the MMDA experienced the same problem last year with the PNP.

MMDA Traffic Operations Center (TOC) Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios said the MMDA only learned of the PNP’s party after the traffic had already built up.

The Christmas party at Camp Aguinaldo added to the traffic, Vergel de Dios said.

Vergel de Dios said the MMDA blocked the service road to traffic and directed vehicles to use the flyover.

The Metrobase also reported heavy traffic in Retiro and Blumentritt in La Loma, Quezon City because of the volume of shoppers that flocked to the area today.

"Many of them buy their lechon (for the parties) in that area," the Metrobase staff noted.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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