Motorists warned: Avoid highways on Sunday afternoon

By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 02 2012 04:42 PM | Updated as of Nov 03 2012 12:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) management is advising the motoring public who went out to provinces in the south to, as much as possible, avoid travelling back to Manila on Sunday afternoon.

SLEx Traffic Operations Manager Chito Silbol and Batangas HPG deputy chief Insp. Gregorio Aquino said Sunday afternoon is usually the time when the volume of travelers is heavy.

Silbol said they have noticed that the approximately 250,000 motorists who went out of Manila for the All Saints’ Day long weekend were split into two waves.

The first wave of travelers went out of Manila last long weekend starting October 26, while the second wave took to the roads on October 31 and November 1 for another long weekend.

"May first wave na umalis last week ‘yun, ngayon second wave ito, magsasabay sabay ngayon ang balik niyan,” said Aquino.

Aquino also said the heavy volume of travelers will start to cause traffic starting lunch time.

"Sakit ng Pilipino kasi last minute, after lunch mararamdaman na natin, lumalaki na ang volume papuntang Metro Manila," he said.

The HPG will be closely monitoring the Sto. Tomas, Batangas junction, where motorists from towns of Batangas, the Quezon province, Bicol region, and some provinces in the Visayas are expected to converge on Sunday afternoon.

Aquino appeals to travelers to reconsider if they have plans of going back to Manila by that crucial time.

"Kung pwede mapaaga ang biyahe, gawin na natin, kaysa sumabay tayo sa last minute na biyahe sa Linggo. Kayo rin po ang mapeperwisyo" he said.

At SLEx, the expected bottleneck will be the northbound lanes of Ayala-Sto. Tomas Toll Plaza and the Calamba Toll Plaza. As much as they will be deploying a number of ambulant tellers, the SLEx management is requesting the motorists to prepare exact change for Ayala-Sto. Tomas exit, which is P25 for light vehicles.

There will be no payments to be made at the Calamba Toll Plaza as they will only give out cards as proof of origin.

The heavier bottleneck is expected at the C-5 Road and Nichols Toll Plaza, which is under the jurisdiction of the Skyway Corporation.

Light traffic for All Souls' Day

As of 2 p.m. on Friday, there were no traffic and accidents reported in the entire stretch of SLEx and the STAR Tollway.

Light traffic was recorded by the SLEX Command Center in all points of the highway and no cueing of lines were seen at the toll plazas.

The HPG and SLEx management continue to remind the public about the speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) for trucks and buses and 100 kph for light vehicles enforced in SLEx and STAR Tollway.

For emergency assistance along SLEx, motorists may call 0917-OUR-SLEX or 0917-687-7539.