In an attempt to resolve the expected upswell of vehicular traffic during the Christmas season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and mall operators agreed to move mall operating hours to a later time.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said that this is the first time that the agency implemented this to some 100 malls as a way of addressing the traffic problem in Metro Manila.
“Sa sobrang sikip na ng Metro Manila, ultimo kalsada ay kailangan na nating i-schedule ang paggamit (Metro Manila is too congested, we need to schedule road use),” Garcia said.
The STAR reported that only 15 malls were required to open at a later time last year.
Beginning November 11, 2019 to January 19, 2020, malls will open at 11 a.m. on weekdays. However, Garcia said that operators are given the freedom to set their own closing time.
By opening at a later time, around 200,000 employees from the 100 participating malls will be subtractedl from traffic during rush hour.
However, Garcia admitted that the move does not mean that the traffic will lighten as around 1,000 vehicles are being added to Metro Manila’s daily traffic.
Garcia said that malls are also are not allowed from holding sales during weekdays. But the establishments during weekends, however, have the freedom to adjust operating hours.
According to The STAR, among the mall operators who attended the meeting represented SM Supermalls, Ayala Malls, Robinsons, Trinoma, Fishermall, and Greenhills Shopping Center. – With Marc Jayson Cayabyab