60,000 personnel to ensure security, smooth traffic during ASEAN Summit

Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2017 06:28 PM

Vehicles pass through Roxas Boulevard in Manila during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in August. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Almost 60,000 personnel from different government agencies will be sent off to deployment Sunday in time for the launch of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings this month.

The personnel will come from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and Metro Manila local governments.

They will be tasked to ensure security and smooth traffic flow in the capital as top world leaders, including United States President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with some 3,000 delegates, converge in Manila for crucial meetings on politics, security and economics.

MMDA Head for Operations for Task Force ASEAN Manny Miro advised motorists to avoid the perimeter of the Quirino Grandstand on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. to give way to the ceremonies. 

"May mga mobilization tayo ng mga troops na gagamitin para sa ASEAN [Summit]. Ina-advise natin ang publiko na umiwas muna sa lugar na iyon," Miro told ABS-CBN News Saturday.

Authorities expect traffic to be heavy in the area but also predict it would return to normal once the ceremony is finished. Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy and MMDA Chairman Danny Lim will lead the activity.

On Nov. 8, authorities will implement a partial lockdown at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City. 

From 10 p.m. of Nov. 11 to 12 midnight of Nov. 12, the SMX Convention Center will be on lockdown for the special ASEAN gala night. 

Full lockdown will be enforced at the complex from Nov. 12 to 15, the main dates for the ASEAN talks.

Roxas Boulevard will meanwhile be on lockdown from 12:01 a.m to 12 p.m. on Nov. 13.

Miro said the stop-and-go traffic scheme will be strictly implemented on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) during the ASEAN meetings, as delegates will be coming to and from the Clark International Airport in Pampanga. 

The same scheme will be in place on EDSA, along with a dedicated ASEAN lane southbound.

Motorists are advised to observe traffic rules.

There is no announcement yet whether number coding will be lifted during the ASEAN holidays from Nov. 13 to 15. 

"The decision is up to our chair Danilo Lim," he said.

Meanwhile, sea vessel operations near Manila Bay will be prohibited as part of security operations. 

There will be a no-sail zone from Nov. 5 to 16 around the part of the bay from the H20 Hotel in Manila to Okada Hotel and New Seaside Drive in Parañaque City. The bar will cover an area 1 nautical mile from the shore.

Under the no-sail zone, waters near the H20 Hotel to Pasig River will be restricted, with vessels coming in and out required to be escorted by the Philippine Coast Guard.

Earlier, government had announced holidays from Nov. 13 to 15. Metro Manila local government units meanwhile declared no classes on Nov. 16 and 17.