By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is bracing for a possible traffic gridlock in major thoroughfares in Metro Manila in time for the Holy Week next week.
Senior Inspector Carol Jabagat, PNP-Highway Patrol Group (HPG) spokesperson, said they will be deploying all of their 1,500 personnel to man the traffic in major metro highways, especially along EDSA.
This move is aside from the establishment of Police Assistance Desks (PADs) in their regional offices all over the country, Jabagat added.
The PNP-HPG will also tap the services of the more than 1,500 Grab drivers and motorcycle riders from Metro Manila and nearby provinces who were recently sworn in by PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa as road safety marshals.
The road safety marshals were armed with “pins” and their task is to report to the PNP-HPG, through the text hotline 7444 474, any untoward incidents that they have spotted.
“We would also like to remind our travelers, especially those who have their own cars, to check your vehicles,” Jabagat said.
Jabagat highlighted the importance of ensuring a driver’s BLOWBAGETS to secure a hassle-free travel. The acronym stands for brake, lights, oil, water, battery, air, gas, engine, tire, and self.
This, Jabagat further said, would also work for four-wheeled drivers who will be transporting commuters to provinces.
“Also, bring all the important documents of your vehicle. Baka kapag tinanong sa chekpoint, walang maipakita. Dalhin ang original and other documents na kailangan sa travel (Also, bring all the important documents of your vehicle. You might have nothing to show in case of a checkpoint. Bring original and other documents you need in traveling),” she said.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will also spearhead the Oplan Bantay-Lakbay for the commuting public, in coordination with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and other concerned government agencies.
The Holy Week activities occur on March 29 or the Maundy Thursday, March 30 or Good Friday, March 31or Black Saturday and April 1 or Easter Sunday.