MANILA (UPDATE) — Aspirants in the 2022 elections who plan to hold a motorcade or caravan in the capital region must first seek permission from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), an official from the agency said Sunday.
Organizers must first secure a permit from the MMDA and concerned local government units before conducting a motorcade, MMDA traffic engineering center director Neomie Tibayan Recio said as she bared the guidelines on the conduct of such events.
"'Yong organizer siyempre kailangan makipag-usap sa MMDA para maplantsa natin kung papaano ba, saan dadaan, anong ruta," she told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(The organizer, of course, needs to talk with the MMDA so we can iron out how we will conduct the motorcade, which route it will take.)
Under the guidelines, motorcades will only be allowed from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. during weekends and on holidays, Recio said.
"Beyond 10 a.m., 'di na natin papayagan kasi nga kapag usually, katulad ngayon Linggo, medyo tanghali na gumigisng ang ating mga kababayan so gusto natin, 'di sila masyado maabala sa traffic," she explained.
(Beyond 10 a.m., we will no longer allow motorcades because usually, like today, people wake up late in the morning so we wouldn't want them to experience traffic.)
The MMDA will not allow road closures and the motorcade can only occupy up to two lanes, Recio said.
She added that participants must abide by traffic rules set by the Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, as well as public health standards set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Participants found violating traffic rules will be issued tickets, Recio said, noting that the MMDA was studying other possible penalties.
The MMDA set the guidelines after a recent caravan organized by the camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running-mate Sara Duterte-Carpio caused heavy traffic in Quezon City.
Supporers of the Marcos-Duterte tandem again held a motorcade in Metro Manila on Sunday morning.
But this time, the motorcade went "smoothly" after organizers held several meetings with the MMDA to prepare for the event, Recio said.
Two groups of supporters converged at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, coming from the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and Rizal Park in Manila. They then headed to the Mall of Asia area in Pasay to conclude their program.
"Hindi naman totally walang inconvenience. However, we were able to manage it and mitigate the worst effect of this caravan," said MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija.
(It was not totally without inconvenience.)
Police estimated that around 3,000 people in a thousand vehicles participated in the caravan.
The heaviest traffic build-up happened at the Quezon Memorial Circle around 7:30 a.m., according to the MMDA.
Nebrija said future campaign events, including those outside Metro Manila, can follow the lead of the Sunday motorcade.
'Yong mga caravan na 'to should have prior coordination so we could also give the public the ample time through the advisory to plan their travels during the caravan. I think nakatulong iyon," he said.
(Caravans like this should have prior coordination so we could also give the public the ample time through the advisory to plan their travels during the caravan. I think that helped in this case.)
The official campaign period for national position candidates and party-list groups in the May 2022 polls begins on Feb. 8, 2022, while it is set on March 25 for those running for seats at the House of Representatives and for regional down to city and municipal posts.
— With reports from Jaehwa Bernardo, Anna Cerezo and Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News